Why do we process food?

Why do we process food?

Almost all food is processed in some way before it is eaten. Even fresh vegetables from the garden are first cleaned and trimmed. To start with, processing made foods more edible, palatable and safe, and preserved it for rainy days. Nowadays, food is processed at home – think of all that happens in our kitchens, and on an industrial scale – think of all that occurs before we open and unpack our groceries.

Mass food processing, scientific and technological know-how, and progress in storage and transportation, have allowed for greater food choices and a more varied diet, increasing the population’s likeliness to get all the nutrients required for good health. Never in human history have we had such high-quality and safe food so abundant, cheap, and readily available. With a lot of the convenience foods being energy dense, their easy accessibility may be seen as a mixed blessing for public health in today’s societies.

Understanding food processing: examples, benefits and risks

05 March 2024

What is the impact of food processing and how can we get the most out of processed foods? Learn more about the basics of food processing from our infographic.

What is processed food?

17 April 2023

In this article, we cover what we mean when we talk about food processing and processed foods, explore both the positive and negative effects of processing food, and give some tips on choosing processed foods within a healthy and sustainable diet.

Process contaminants in vegetable oils and foods pose potential health concerns finds EFSA

18 May 2016

Contaminants in vegetable oils and fats (and foods containing them such as cookies, pastries and others) pose a potential health concern to average consumers for young age groups...

2- and 3-MCPD and Their Esters in Vegetable Oils

18 May 2015

Process contaminants are chemical substances that have not been intentionally added to food but are produced during cooking, heating or purification of foods or ingredients.

Evolution of Food Processing and Labelling in Food Production

08 December 2014

European consumers expect nutritious, safe, environmentally sustainable, and affordable food products. This article gives an overview of food processing, its evolution, consumer trends, and how the food...

X-Ray in Food Inspection

02 January 2013

Increasing regulatory and consumer demands have intensified the pressure on the food industry to implement reliable methods of food inspection to ensure product safety and quality.

What is food fortification?

10 March 2011

Food fortification can be used to increase the micronutrient content of foods or to replace nutrients lost in food processing, thus playing a valuable role in preventing dietary deficiencies.

From farm to fork: Food processing for safer, longer lasting food

06 July 2006

Consumer confidence in food safety is basic to the food processing industry and essential to its success.