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What are the Popular Methods of Manufacturing Processed Foods?

Aarti R Nov 22, 2018
Time and again, we hear that processed foods must be avoided. However, very few of us know what they actually are. To find out, read on!
Grocery stores often showcase easy-to-cook and delicious processed food. These are packaged foods which undergo certain processes like canning, freezing, refrigeration, and sterile processing.
Introduced by Nicolas Appert and Clarence Birdseye to the world, commercially processed foods undergo different processes in the labs to increase the shelf life of the food. Here are some of the processes processsed food items undergo.


Blanching, followed by many chefs, is a way of processing foods to make them crispy and tender. Vegetables are blanched using a simple technique. First, put the vegetables in the water and boil them until they are half-cooked but still tender.
Remove them from the boiling water immediately, and place them in an ice bath to cool them. Remove the vegetables from the ice bath as soon as they cool down. These vegetables can now be used for cooking in any way you like. This type of processing improves the taste of the vegetables.


Frozen foods like fish and peas are often consumed by many of us. Seeds of certain crops are stored at -18 degree Celsius to preserve them. Cold storage is used for storing frozen foods and these foods remain in a good state for a long time.


Canning food is a good way of processing it. Some foods require heating at a very high temperature to make them free of harmful micro-organisms. The foods to be canned are placed in jars and heated at very high temperature.
As soon as the food and jars are cooled, the jars are sealed. Mostly, preservatives are not added to the canned food. The shelf-life of food increases due to canning. Meat, poultry, seafood, pickled vegetables, and fruits are some of the foodstuffs generally available in canned forms.


Dehydrating foods is also called drying in which the water content is removed from the food. Foods are dried by blowing hot and dry air. Many vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish can be processed with the drying process.
Drying foodstuffs help retain vitamin A, carbohydrates, and fiber. The caloric value remains the same, but the fat content decreases. The only disadvantage processing food by the drying method is that the water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C are lost in the process of dehydration.


French scientist Louis Pasteur introduced the technique of pasteurization. Pasteurization is used for processing milk. Milk is heated at 72 degree Celsius for 15 minutes. The pasteurization process is not intended to kill all the micro-organisms; instead it preserves some useful microorganisms.
The pasteurization process is not intended to kill all the micro-organisms; instead it preserves some useful microorganisms. Grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts are irradiated with high-energy radiations for sterilizing purposes.


Cooking is a way of processing food. Various ways of cooking like grilling, stir-frying, steaming and roasting preserve a lot of vitamins and minerals. Boiling food items for a long time is generally not preferred as it decreases their nutritional value.

List of healthy processed foods

  • Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes
  • Grains and cereals which include whole grain breakfast cereals, whole grain pastas and breads
  • Fish and poultry
  • Eggs
  • Herbal tea, juices and milk
  • Low-fat cheese and yogurt
  • Soups and sauces having a low sodium content
  • Low-fat turkey slices and sliced roasted beef for making sandwiches
Processed food can be healthy if you choose to eat wisely, taking into consideration the nutritional value of food. Try to avoid the unhealthy, high-fat and high-sodium foods. Stay healthy!