Factors: Nutrition Impacts Of Food Processing

1686 Words 7 Pages
Mercado, Patricia Denise P.

Nutrition Impacts of Food Processing

¥ Many consumers rely on packaged and processed foods for convenience and speed
Ð Lose control over what foods contain
Ð Food processing involves trade-offs
¥ Makes food safer, or gives food a longer useable lifetime, or cuts preparation time
¥ At cost of some vitamin and mineral losses
¥ Most forms of processing aim to extend the usable life of a food
Ð To preserve a food, a process must prevent three kinds of events
¥ Microbial growth
¥ Oxidative changes
¥ Enzymatic destruction
Do Canned Foods Lose Nutrients?
¥ Fat-soluble vitamins and most minerals are relatively stable
Ð Not affected much by canning
¥ Three vulnerable water-soluble vitamins
Ð Thiamin
Ð Riboflavin
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While the benefits are numerous, processing can also be detrimental, affecting the nutritional quality of foods. Blanching, for example, results in leaching losses of vitamins and minerals. Also, milling and extrusion can cause the physical removal of minerals during processing. The nutritional quality of minerals in food depends on their quantity as well as their bioavailability. The bioavailability of key minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium is known to be significantly affected by the fiber, phytic acid, and tannin content of foods. Concentrations of these constituents are altered by various processing methods including milling, fermentation, germination (sprouting), extrusion, and thermal processing. Vitamins, especially ascorbic acid, thiamin and folic acid, are highly sensitive to the same processing methods. The time and temperature of processing, product composition and storage are all factors that substantially impact the vitamin status of our foods.
Food processing and nutrition
Almost all food is processed in some way before it is eaten. Commercially, the main reasons to process food are to eliminate micro-organisms (which may cause disease) and to extend shelf life.
Simply cooking or combining a food with other foodstuffs to create a recipe is also considered a form of food processing. Whatever the case, the nutrient value of any food is often altered by the
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Preserving the nutrient value of vegetables
Some suggestions to retain the maximum nutrition in the foods you cook include:
Store foods properly, such as keeping cold foods cold and sealing some foods in airtight containers. Keep vegetables in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
Try washing or scrubbing vegetables rather than peeling them.
Use the outer leaves of vegetables like cabbage or lettuce unless they are wilted or unpalatable. Microwave, steam, roast or grill vegetables rather than boiling them.
If you boil your vegetables, save the nutrient-laden water for soup stock. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
Cook foods quickly.
Where to get help
Dietitians Association of Australia Tel. 1800 812 942
Things to remember
The nutrient value of food is almost always altered by the kind of processing it undergoes. The water-soluble vitamins are the most vulnerable to processing and cooking.
Careful cooking and storage will help retain the nutrients in your

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