In a modernized economy and society, the needs for processed foods has seemed to take on a life of its own, with every cupboard across America replete with some canned good or boxed stuff that has been through the food processing system. Believe it or not, even packaged foods purchased at a natural health food store have gone through the process, eliminating a misbelieve that it is infinitely better for the consumer to shop at such places. It is a necessity in a modern world, where packaged food must be processed in order for it to be safely stored and marketed to customers.
How is Food Processed
Each food item has its own particular food processing requirements, but overall, a sweeping process called extrusion is used. This process runs raw and un-tampered food items through extreme heat to break down fatty acids that can cause natural decomposition, as well as remove the vast majority of naturally inherent nutritional value. The process prepares food for additional additive systems including preservatives, flavor enhancers, coloring, and the reintroduction of artificial nutrient emulsion. Grains are a perfect example of this process when being manufactured into breakfast cereals.
The grains are crushed and ground to an extent dictated by the food company’s marketing department for feel and texture, the run through the extrusion process. The high heat renders the nutrients null and void, as well as destroying any parasites of bacterial presence, beneficial or otherwise, from the product. The grains are then analyzed for their specific purpose and determined to be in need of additives to be reintroduced into the product. Breakfast cereals are the creation of a company’s image, so food coloring is added to bring a uniform presentation for consumer identification. A good example of this is fruit loop type products, where the grains are first extruded then subjected to a color infusion to reach the proper visual presentation.
Why Food is Processed
The reason is to overstep current supply and demand, as well as add incentive tastes and colors to the food products. Immediate use of food products is a thing of the past, with consumers requiring storage capabilities in their pantries. In order for food to be attractive and have the ability to be stored for longer than natural periods of time, the additives must be present and it is the processing that places them there.
Understanding the unique complexities of the food or beverage media you will be working with is key in finding the perfect hygienic valve for your processing needs.
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