Processing of Health Foods

Processing of Health Foods

Health foods can be defined as any natural food which is popularly believed to promote or sustain good health. Eating healthy can then be defined as eating a variety of foods that supplies you with the nutrients required to maintain good health, supply the human body with energy and leave the consumer feeling good and satisfied. Necessary nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water vitamins and minerals.

However, not all fresh foods are available in all locations or available year-round. Enter agro-processing. Without the aid of food processing, we would not have the convenience of the large variety of food products available in supermarkets and other food outlets.

Processing of raw products has several advantages:

• It allows for the year-round availability of food that has only a limited growing season or is not grown in certain areas due to soil and climate factors;
• Processing extends the self-life of products;
• Food processing improves the safety of our food supply through processes intended to destroy harmful bacteria and packaging that helps in the prevention of food tampering.

Most value-added food products available to consumers have been processed in some way of other, even if the processing is as simple as cleaning produce before it is packed in plastic or net bags. Two types of processing methods may be performed on raw materials:
• Primary processing includes the simplest processes such as washing, peeling, chopping, ageing, the milling of wheat for flour, and the processing of sugarcane;
• Secondary processing involves the conversion of primary processed products into more complex food products and includes procedures such as mixing, depositing, layering, extruding, drying, fortifying, fermentation, pasteurization, clarification, heating etc.

HEALTH FOOD PROCESSING OPTIONS:

Dehydrated Apple Pieces:

Dehydrated apple pieces have a moisture content below 3.5%. It has a shelf life of several years at ambient temperatures. It is produced from dried (evaporated) apple pieces that undergo a secondary dehydration process. Dehydration takes place in tunnel or continuous belt dryers. As an alternative. Fresh diced apple pieces can be dried in one operation using a fluidised bed dryer.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Vinegar is the sour liquid obtained by naturally fermenting the juice of any fruit, cereal, or sugar substance. Apple vinegar is produced by alcoholic fermentation followed by acetous bacterial oxidation of apple juice. Apple vinegar should contain between 5 and 12% acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar is produced from apple juice or diluted concentrate. The process consists of two fermentation processes, followed by a clarification process.

Explosion Puffed Blueberries:

Explosion puffed blueberries are dehydrated berries with a porous, slightly puffed, crunchy texture. It has an intense fruit flavour and is used in cereal mixes, especially ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.The full article is for subscribed members only. To view the full article please subscribe. It’s FREE!Log In Register

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