Monday, 6 May 2013

Food Manufacture: production, processing and preservation.

It is interesting to keep a food diary, even if for a few days. What patterns so you notice in your eating? What proportion of your diet is based on raw foods, convenience foods and processed foods?  For the majority of us, a vast percentage of our diet IS in fact, processed.  From our breakfast cereals, bread, snacks, coffee, tea, beverages and yoghurts to our stir fries, roasts  and vegetables we have for dinner.  

All these foods have come into contact with the manufacturing process. 

It is fascinating to watch how raw materials are processed in order to create a product for consumers. Have we become immune to the degree to which our food is processed?
Should we be wary of how much processed foods we are consuming?
Are we passing on enough home skills such as bread, pasta and jam making to future generations?
How much trust do we place upon food manufactures, food policy, standards, enforcement and surveillance?
Read more about Australia's safe food plan here.

Take a look at the videos below and take note of the equipment, production systems and additives used.

How hot dogs are made.

Focaccia processes.

Making Strawberry Jam the easy way.

Food Additives: 

Additives are used in food processing to:
  • Improve the taste or appearance of a processed food. For example, beeswax - glazing agent (901) may be used to coat apples to improve their appearance.
  • Improve the keeping quality or stability of a food. For example, sorbitol - humectant (420) - may be added to mixed dried fruit to maintain the moisture level and softness of the fruit.
  • Preserve food when this is the most practical way of extending its storage life. For example, sulphur dioxide - preservative (220) - is added to some meat products such as sausage meat to limit microbial growth. (via
Food additives by VEA Australia.

This video will not embed. You can search for it on You tube.

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Food additives ensure the consumer is able to purchase foods that are safe, nutritious and convenient. In our world, many cannot afford the time to home process the majority of their food.  Are you able to make home made bread every day and source all your fruits, vegetables, meats and grains?  It is wonderful to see those that can contribute some home made basic foods to the household diet.  Making home made bread, preserves such as Jam and pasta is humbling and satisfying. It is a comforting to be very aware of what is in the foods we eat. 

We would love for you to share links to your recipes/blogs in the comments below.

Manufactures must ensure their product is of sound quality to ensure brand loyalty, maintain business profits and meet the mission of their organisation. Quality control is integral.

We are interested in your stories of food additive allergies or reactions and any recipes or blogs you care to share re Food manufacture, food production, processing and preservation.