Food processing is a set of methods and techniques used to transform raw food ingredients into consumable food. Approximately all foods are processed in various ways before it is eaten. Commercially, the main reasons to process order of microorganisms which may cause diseases and to extend shelf life.
Simple cooking or combining a food with other foodstuffs to create a recipe is also considered as a form of food processing. Whatever the case, the nutrient value of any food is often changed by processing.
Effects of processing:
Some vitamins are more stable (less affected by processing) than others. Water soluble vitamins are more unstable than fat soluble vitamins during food processing and storage. The most unstable vitamins include – folate thiamine and vitamin C. More stable vitamins include – niacin, vitamin K & D, biotin, pantothenic acid.
Process affecting food nutrient content:
A variety of things can happen during the growth, harvesting, storage and preparing of food that can affect its nutritional content. Processes that expose foods to high levels of heat, light or oxygen cause the greatest nutrient loss.
- Fertilizers: Most plant crops are produced with the acid of fertilizers in soil. High use of nitrogen fertilizers and to reduce the vitamin C content in many fruits and vegetable crops.
- Milling: Cereals such as wheat can be ground to remove the string husks. The husks contain most of the plant’s dietary fibre, B – Vitamin, phytochemical and some minerals first stop it is impossible to add back everything that is taken out, especially the phytochemicals. The fibre that is added back to some products is often in the form of resistant starch, which may not be as beneficial as the fibre removed.
- Blanching: Before a food is canned or frozen, it is usually heated very quickly with steam or water. The water-soluble vitamins including vitamin C & B – complex are sensitive and easily destroyed by blanching.
- Canning: Food is heated inside the can to kill any dangerous microorganisms and extend the foods shelf life. Some types microorganisms require heat treatment asthma affect the taste extra of the food, making it less appealing. Water soluble vitamins are particularly sensitive to high temperatures.
- Freezing: The nutrient value of a food is retained when is frozen. Any nutrient loss is due to the processing prior to freezing.
- Pasteurization: Pasteurization involves heating liquid foods such as milk and fruit juices at specific temperature to destroy microorganisms the nutrient value of milk is unaffected. In case off pasteurised fruit juices, some losses of vitamin C can occur.
- Dehydrating: Drawing out foods such as fruits can reduce the amount of vitamins C they retain, but it can also concentrate other nutrients, particularly fibre in plant foods. Dehydrating foods also make food products more energy dense, which may contribute to weight gain first top if a dehydrated food is reconstituted and cooked with water, further nutrients are leached out of the food and are lost while cooking.
- Losing nutrients through cooking: Some vitamins dissolve in water, so you lose your vitamins cooking water prefer to boil vegetables. example – boiling a potato can cause much of the potatoes B & C vitamins to migrate into the boiling water. Alternative cooking methods such as grilling commerce teaming, stir frying, microwaving preserve a great number of vitamins and other nutrients.