India’s food processing sector is one of the largest in the world and its output is expected to reach $535 billion by 2025-26. During the last five years ending 2019-20, the Food Processing Industries sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of around 11.18%. As per the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) 2018-19, food processing was ranked 1st in total persons engaged in the manufacturing sector.
How does the food industry work?
Food processing includes the fundamental preparation of foods, the transformation of a food product into another form (for example, manufacturing preserves from fruit), preservation and packaging procedures. The food processing sector has its own set of requirements for the safety of the products it obtains from primary production. Farm production should be the initial objective of food safety countermeasures.
The basic goal of food processing is to extend the shelf life of food, give it the ideal flavor and look, improve nutritional content, make food easier to transport and store, and so on.
We are familiar with and utilize a wide range of processed and packaged foods. This sector, known as the food processing business, has grown rapidly in India and now accounts for a significant amount of the country's rising food market.
The three phases of food processing:
- Primary– When raw materials are somewhat transformed, such as grinding grains, drying fruits and nuts, sorting, cleaning, slaughtering animals, sterilizing eggs, and so on.
- Secondary– When the primary stage goods are exposed to further alterations such as juice, etc. Making bread from flour, extracting juice from fruits, and so on.
- Tertiary- When food is marketed ready-to-eat or preserved, canned, frozen, or otherwise preserved to increase its shelf life. The food processing sector is what we call this level.
Technology's role in the food processing industry:
Food Processing Technology is a collection of physical, chemical, and microbiological procedures and techniques used to turn raw resources into food and then into various food processing enterprises.
A strong and dynamic food processing technology sector is critical for reducing perishable agricultural produce wastage, improving food product shelf life, ensuring value addition to agricultural produce, diversifying and commercializing agriculture, creating jobs, increasing farmer income, and creating surplus for agro-processed food export.
Many ways are employed in food processing technology operations to add value to basic food supplies (including marine goods, poultry, and meat) that are consumed by humans or animals. Processing and value addition convert raw food ingredients into consumable goods. This employs rural residents, particularly women, and discourages capital flight from rural to urban regions, reducing the economic divide between the two populations.
It is up to the majority of people to choose whether current food processing technology is a blessing or harmful. Food processing technology has given us the ability to select foods that meet our nutritional demands, while also reducing the nutritional value of the food item in some situations.