Processed foods are simply raw agricultural products that have been refined, usually for consumption purposes and also preservation. Foods that have been cooked, baked, smoked, sundried, pasteurized, and microwaved, or gone through any other form of structural repacking are called processed foods.
Technically, all the foods we eat every day have gone through one or more forms of processing before they are suitable for consumption. Processing of food is very important and also necessary, not just for eating purposes only but it also helps to prevent wastage by preserving the food for a longer period than it would normally last for. While the intent behind some of these form of processing is of economic importance, they are responsible for some health issues being experienced all over the world today
Some processed foods you should reduce intake of are cheese, bread, meat products like bacon and sausage, ham, salami, cakes, biscuits, and microwaved meals. Forms of food processing include
Some examples of baked foods are cakes, biscuits, bagels, chocolate chip cookies, candy, and apple pies.
baking is a method of preparing food that uses dry heat usually in an oven. Ingredients used in baking include water, flour, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, leavening agent, egg, milk, and sugar. Every ingredient used for baking have their specific importance;
- Sugar keeps baked goods soft and moist and prevents staleness in baked goods
- Baking powder releases carbon dioxide gas into a batter through an acid-base reaction thus increasing the texture and volume of the baked goods.
- Eggs add texture and provide the appropriate texture of the baked good
- Milk gives a soft crumb structure in baked goods like cakes
- Flour provides a considerably large amount of protein content of the baked goods which influences the strength of the dough.
Baked goods usually contain less fat and oil thereby lowering the risk of fat deposition in the body.
Some examples of fried foods are spring toll, bins, doughnuts, fried chicken, French fried, Etc.
frying is a method of food processing that involves complete submersion of food in hot oil usually in a frying pan. Foods you can easily fry are fish, meat, potato, yam, egg, chicken, and some mushrooms.
Fired foods add a lot of calories to the body and don’t offer healthy nutrients. Eating a lot of fried foods increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases.
Canning is a method of food preservation that is also used for storing food so that it can last longer. Some examples of food that can be preserved by canning include; fish, meat, asparagus, corns, pea, tomatoes, fruits, jams, pickles, and condensed cooking soup. Canning can help preserve and keep food fresh for as long as five years or more and preserve most of the nutrient content of the food.
Unlike fresh foods, canned foods taste slightly different and they are usually coated in a lot of sugar to increase the shelf life of the product. Most canned products are preserved with chemical preservatives to prevent microbial growth and no loss of nutrient but these chemical preservatives could contain butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyl anisole (BHA) which are antioxidants and protects food from the adverse effect of oxygen exposure which can be very carcinogenic and cause liver and lung cancer.
This method of food processing is aimed at preservation and also for immediate consumption. Drying helps to remove the moisture content in foods and impede the microbial actions by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold. This process makes the food lightweight and convenient to store.
examples of food that are suitable for drying are green beans, tomato, peaches, apples, apricot, carrot, bananas, strawberries, and some other fruits and vegetables.
Is the partial sterilization of a product, such as milk or wine, to make it safe for consumption and improve its quality when preserved? The process of pasteurization also involves heating the food to a very high temperature and then letting it cool off, it helps to eliminate bacteria like staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, listeria, and Yersinia.
This involves the use of a microwave to heat already processed foods.
the microwave uses a short high-frequency wave that penetrates food causes water molecules in the food to vibrate, producing heat that cooks the food. The heat energy is transferred through solid food through conduction and liquid foods through conduction.
After a portion of food is brought out of the microwave, it should be allowed to cool down for some minutes to allow even distribution of heat throughout the food.
Processed foods that contain excessively high-calorie content are bad for the guts and cause several health issues.