The food processing industry is the one that carries out all the phases of the food chain. That is, it is responsible for transforming the raw material of animal and vegetable origin into food that will be brought to the market for direct consumption.
In other words, the food and fruit processing industry develops and distributes products for human consumption (and its domestic animals). This, using inputs from agriculture and livestock.
The food processing industry is of utmost importance in the modern world, allowing people to have a constant supply of food. To this is added that refrigerators allow you to preserve these products.
However, we must take into account that there are populations that can suffer periods of shortage of certain products, for example, in the face of droughts or natural disasters.
Food Processing Industry processes:
The main processes of the food processing industry are the following:
– Reception: It means not only receiving but also selecting the best quality foods and discarding those that are not suitable for human consumption or that do not meet quality standards.
– Storage: It refers to keeping food in the best possible conditions so that it can be preserved over time. For this purpose, environments are usually used where temperature and humidity are mainly controlled.
– Processing: These are all the procedures that raw materials are subjected to, such as mixing, roasting, or packaging. This, to get processed or semi-processed foods.
– Conservation: It is the phase that food goes through to extend its useful life and thus can reach the final consumer in optimal conditions. Thus, there are various procedures and food processing equipment such as salting, dehydration, sterilization, freezing, pasteurization, and acidification.
– Services: These are all the health protocols that supermarkets and similar establishments follow when offering food to their customers. In this phase, the fruit processing followed by restaurants, hotels, and other places where the public can directly consume the products also enter.
Doubts about the food processing industry:
The academy has warned about the damage that some products from the food industry can cause to health, particularly those called ultra-processed because they contain a large number of chemical inputs.
This has prompted governments to take measures so that companies include on the labels of their merchandise if the food is high in fat, sugar, or sodium, for example.
Another question to the food processing industry is that, in search of higher yields or profitability, it resorts to intensive livestock farming. The latter, for example, implies a higher energy consumption per kilogram of feed and treatment that could be considered unethical with animals.
As a counterpart, some claim that these techniques and food processing equipment can guarantee a greater supply of food for the population.
What is the food industry?
The food processing industry is one of the productive sectors which is responsible for all the food processes chain of society.
It covers the stages of production, transportation, processing, and the selection and also a sale of food from a very varied agricultural offer. Its products go through a set of transformation processes that culminate in their consumption by the public.
food processing machine in the food industry aims to satisfy the feeding needs of the population (and their domestic animals), by preparing various food products, both processed and semi-processed, from raw materials of animal origin, such as meat, dairy, etc. eggs, fish and honey, or of vegetable origin.
To achieve its objective, it tries to provide its food with the highest possible state of conservation (freezing, adding preservatives, pre-cooking, etc.), on its journey from the factory to your table.
More than any other, the food processing industry is a fruit of the modern world. In earlier times, the demand for food was lower and could be satisfied through local or regional production. Today it involves the exchange of consumer goods in a globalized market, in which it is possible to buy food from the other side of the world at the corner supermarket.
However, this large-scale production model and food processing machine are far from perfect. In recent times, the effect on public health of ultra-processed foods full of chemical additives has been greatly questioned, as well as the ecological effect that the excessive growth of agriculture and livestock causes throughout the world.
Characteristics of the food processing industry:
The food industry is characterized by:
Use inputs of animal and vegetable origin, to produce food with a greater or lesser degree of technological processing, intended for direct consumption or to supply other food companies.
Cover different more or less automated selection, manufacturing, processing, and distribution processes.
Grow together with the increase in demand for food throughout the world, given the population growth experienced by humanity in recent centuries.
Sectors of the food industry:
The food industry is made up of the following sectors:
– Meat industry. Or from the processing of red and white meats.
– Fishing industry. Works with fish, shellfish, marine mollusks, etc.
– Growing of fruits and vegetables. For direct consumption by the public.
– Farming industry. Dedicated to the sowing and cultivation of cereals, vegetables, and greens.
– Fungal industry. Grow edible mushrooms.
– Sugar industry. It obtains it from different means: sugar cane, beets, etc.
– Cocoa industry. It makes chocolate in its very different presentations.
– Wine industry. Dedicated to the exploitation of vineyards and wine making.
– Brewing industry. Dedicated to the production of beers from barley and other cereals.
– Water industry. He obtains it from springs and bottles it.
– Bakery food processing industry. It is dedicated to the production of bread and other products derived from wheat flour.
– Oil industry. It obtains oils of vegetable origin for cooking.
– Dairy industry. It works with milk and its derivatives, such as cheese or yogurt.
– Animal feed industry. Make food for pets, from cats and dogs to farm animals.
– Food Technology. Focused on discovering the methods of food preservation, sanitation of facilities, nutritional fortification, etc.
Importance of the food industry:
The food processing industry is essential for expanding and growing humanity, like that of the 21st century. More than seven billion human beings in total demand a significant amount of food daily, and this requires the breeding of many animal species, which in turn also consume certain types of food.
This gigantic demand is the niche of food producer, food processing machine,and food processing business, but it is not only an economic investment, but also entails great responsibilities: the handling of food affects public health, and the care is given to the ways of life that we consume it affects the incidence of communicable diseases to humans.
These concerns are in vogue in the 21st century, when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warns that nutrition should not be a business and an end in itself, but a means to live a longer life. full and healthy.
In addition, alerts regarding the environmental impact of livestock on global warming and the emergence of new infectious diseases of animal origin, have brought to light the cruel and mercantilist way in which many of these industries operate, committed only to performance.
Basic processes of the food industry:
The food industry comprises the following basic processes:
– Reception of food. Coming from the agricultural sector, the food reaches the industry, and their selection and discard tasks are involved, to guarantee certain minimum quality control.
– Food storage. The raw material must then be housed in such a way that it is preserved as best as possible over time, for which it is necessary to control humidity, temperature, etc. Inventories are then carried out to determine the possible production margins and the raw material is classified according to its characteristics.
– Food and fruit processing. This stage can be as diverse and distinct as processed foods are since each has its complexity and needs. In this stage, in any case, the transformation of the raw material begins to obtain the processed or semi-processed foods: mixing, cooking, etc.
– Food preservation. For the food processing equipment,products to remain intact until they reach the final consumer, various techniques must be used, which can range from simple refrigeration to salting, dehydration, pasteurization, sterilization or acidification, or even the addition of preservatives. artificial chemicals.
– Food service. The endpoint of the chain, where the establishments deliver the food to their potential consumers. These can be supermarkets or restaurants, and in both cases, they must obey hygiene and health techniques.
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