In today's fast world everything that a human uses has to be fast or is forgotten and replaced with new technology and gadgets, things as basic as their mobile phones, laptops to even food. It is observed that Instead of cooking and preparing food People are opting for the Read-to-Eat or Ready-to-make processed foods. People are already running out of time and now cooking from scratch has also become a task for many so easy to cook and prepare foods are available in markets which are widely accepted and consumed nowadays.
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms of consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing. industry. Food processing typically takes. "clean, harvested crops or butchered animals. products and uses their products for attractive, marketable and long shelf-life food products Similar processes are used to make animal feed.
Extreme examples of food processing include the delicate preparation of deadly fugu fish.
Mass production of food is much cheaper overall than individual production of meals. from raw ingredients. Therefore, a large profit potential exists for the manufacturers and suppliers of processed food products. Individuals must see benefits in convenience but rarely see any direct financial cost. Benefit in using processed food as compared to home preparation. Poor quality ingredients and sometimes questionable processing and preservation methods detract greatly from. the overall benefit gained by individual consumers.
More and more people live in the cities far away from where food is grown and produced. In many families the adults are working away from home and then give them little time for preparation of food based on fresh ingredients. The food industry offers products that fulfill many rifles needs from peeled potatoes that only help to be boiled at home to fully prepared. Ready meals that can be heated up in the microwave oven within a few minutes.
Benefits of food processing include toxin removed preservation, easing marketing and distribution tasks, and creating food consistency. In addition, it increases seasonal availability of many foods, enabling transportation of delicate perishable foods across long distances and makes many kinds of foods. Safe to eat by deactivating spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. Modern super- markets would not be possible without modern food processing techniques, long voyages would not be possible, and military campaigns would be significantly more difficult and costly to execute.
Modern food processing also improves the quality of life for people with allergies, diabetics, and other people who cannot consume some common food elements. Food processing can also add extra nutrients such as vitamins.
Processed foods are less susceptible to early spoilage than fresh foods, and are better suited for long distance transportation from the source to the consumer. Fresh materials, such as fresh produce and raw meats are more likely to harbor pathogenic microorganisms (eg. Salmonella) capable of causing serious illnesses.
In general, fresh food that has not been processed other than by washing and simple kitchen preparation, may be expected to contain a higher proportion of naturally occurring vitamins, fiber and minerals. than an equivalent product processed by the food industry. Vitamin C, for example, is destroyed by heat and therefore canned fruits have a lower content of vitamin C than fresh ones.
Find processing can lower the nutritional values of foods, and introduce hazzards not encountered with naturally-occurring products. Processed foods often include food additives, such as flavorings and texture-enhancing agents, which may have little or no nutritive value or be unhealthy. Preservatives added or created during processing to extend the 'shelf-life’ of commercially available products, such as nitrites or sulphites, may cause adverse health effects. Use of low-cost ingredients that mimic the properties of natural ingredients have been shown to cause severe health problems, but are still in widespread use because of cost concerns and lack of consumer knowledge about the effects of substitute ingredients.
Processed foods have a higher ratio carried to other essential nutrients than unprocessed foods, a phenomenon. referred to as "empty calories!". So called junk food, produced to satisfy consumer demand for convenience and low cost, are most often mass produced processed food products.
Because processed food ingredients are often produced in high quantities and distributed widely amongst value-added food manufactures, failures in hygiene standards in low-level' many nurturing facilities that produce widely distributed basic ingredients can have serious consequences for many final products.
The addition of these many chemicals for preservation and flavor have been known to cause human and animal cells to grow rapidly, without going into apoptosis.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.
We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.