The UN Food Systems Summit – Food Processing, Consumption, Supply Chain, Loss and Waste

Sep 22 2021

Food processing extends shelf-life and can transforms raw food into attractive, marketable products. It can also prevent contamination. The transformation can involve numerous physical and chemical processes such as mincing, cooking, canning, liquefaction, pickling, macerating, emulsification, irradiation and lyophilization. Frozen processed and raw food changes transport and storage requirements radically; while the packaging of food, both raw and processed, is an industry unto itself. •

Adulteration is a serious problem, particularly in developing countries where regulatory bodies are weak. Food is considered adulterated when a substance is added that degrades its quality or turns it hazardous. That could be changing its colour to make it look better, or adding chemical preservatives. Adding sand particles, pebbles and other extraneous matter to grain and pulses to make up weight is also considered adulteration. So is mixing water with milk and oil with chemical derivatives or cheaper oils.

Many countries in the global South would benefit from assistance to help develop their food safety regulations as well as inspection measures and enforcement. Many of the food processing industries are small scale, cottage in size, and often start in backyards or dingy premises. They are reluctant to engage food technologists because that involves extra cost and they tend to be skeptical of regulating institutions.

Source: Inter Press Service | Food & Agriculture