Pages: 171-176 Published Online: Mar. 18, 2015
Food processing is the transformation of raw ingredients into food, or of food into other forms. Food processing typically takes clean, harvested crops or butchered animal products and uses these to produce attractive, marketable and often long shelf-life food products. Food processing includes toxin removal, preservation, easing marketing and distribution tasks, and increasing food consistency. In addition, it increases yearly availability of many foods, enables transportation of delicate perishable foods across long distances and makes many kinds of foods safe to eat by de-activating spoilage and pathogenic micro-organisms. Processed food freed people from the large amount of time involved in preparing and cooking ‘natural’ unprocessed foods. Modern supermarkets would not exist without modern food processing techniques, and long voyages would not be possible.
Food quality is the quality characteristics of food that is acceptable to consumers. This includes external factors as appearance (size, shape, colour, gloss, and consistency), texture, and flavour; factors such as regulatory standards (e.g. of eggs) and internal (chemical, physical, microbial). Food quality is an important food manufacturing requirement, because food consumers are susceptible to any form of contamination that may occur during the manufacturing process. Many consumers also rely on manufacturing and processing standards, particularly to know what ingredients are present, due to dietary, nutritional requirements (kosher, halal, vegetarian), or medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, or allergies). Many processes both traditional and modern technology designed to preserve food have some influences on the food quality. For example, preserving fruit by turning it into jam, involves boiling (to reduce the fruit’s moisture content and to kill bacteria, yeasts, etc.), sugaring (to prevent their re-growth) and sealing within an airtight jar (to prevent recontamination). Furthermore, combination treatment also secures the microbial safety and stability of food products, however, the intensity of the hurdles can be adjusted individually to meet consumer preferences in an economical way, without sacrificing the safety and quality of the product.
We are interested in articles that explore processing and quality of foods. Potential topic includes but not limited to:
1. New technologies in food processing and preservation: thermal, mechanical and physical processing
2. Packaging for extended shelf life: active packaging; intelligent packaging; optimizing barriers
3. Effect of processing conditions on product quality
4. Communication with consumers: Consumers perception; choices, etc.