Food Processing Methods

Food Processing Methods have been developed over the centuries and are adopted apparently to make the food products more attractive in flavor, appearance, taste and consistency. Besides, these aspects of consumer preferences, several of the methods aim at:

i. Making the food safe and wholesome

ii. Conserving available food for later use by increasing its availability.

iii. Increasing the shelf or storage life of the food.

The Common Household Method Of Food Processing Are:

iv. Milling

v. Germination and Malting.

vi. Cooking.

vii. Fermentation.

i. Milling: In Milling, the coarse, fibrous bran or seed coat of grains are removed. This may result in significant nutrient losses, particularly the B-Vitamins And Minerals.

The extent of the losses depends upon the degree of milling and distribution pattern of nutrient in the grain.

However, milling makes grains easier to cook and digest. Milles grains are less likely to deteriorate on the storage.

ii. Germination and Malting: This involves soaking food in water over night. This is followed by germination and sprouting of the grains (Especially Legumes) and then dried.

During germination, several enzymes systems become active and bring about profound changes in the nutritive value of the pulse’s. For Instance, Vitamin C And Folic acid which are particularly absent in dried Legume seed increase in significant amount after germination, consequently availability of iron in germinated grains Improve significantly.

iii. Cooking: Cooking In boiling water or by steam pressure is yet another common household practice of food processing. Cooking Improves the quality of diet, Improves taste, and makes inedible food edible or make food more digestible.

Cooking also kills micro organisms In food. Cooking of some foods removes undesirable compounds such as anti-nutrients e.g trypsin inhibitors in soybeans.

iv. Fermentation: Fermentation in food processing is the conversion of carbohydrates (Plant Foods) to alcohols and carbon-dioxide, or organic acid using yeast, bacteria or a combination thereof, under anaerobic (no oxygen) condition.

This implies that the action of micro organisms is desirable and the processes can be used to produce alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer. Fermentation is also employes In the leavening of bread and Production of yoghurt.

Food Fermentation has been said to serve some purpose. These include:

i. Enrichment of diets through the development of a diversity of flavours, aromas and textures in Foods.

ii. Preservation of food through lactic acid, alcohol, acetic acid fermentation.

iii. Elimination of anti-nutrients in Foods such as phytase in grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

iv. A decrease in cooking time.