How do we know to identify processed and industrialized food?

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21/01/2021 17:20

No uniform and precise definition or criteria exist for industrialized and processed foods. The ambiguity mainly serves the food industry.

Processed vs. Natural food.

Most definitions of processed and industrialized foods try to distinguish between whole and natural foods, lightly processed foods, and highly processed foods. Yet, the average consumer will often find it challenging to understand their nutrition category.


It is challenging to separate the criteria between processed and industrial foods in practice, as they are intertwined.

  • Food production is a long process that includes growing food from animals and plants to picking, slaughtering, collecting, transporting, packing, preparing, cooling, processing, packaging, storing, and distributing.
  • Processed food criteria do not concern how to prepare food at home before eating but the entire production chain before it reaches the shelf.

Processed and industrialized food suggested broad and stringent definitions and foremost criteria.

Food that meets one or more criteria may be considered processed or industrialized. (Rank is a separate exam.)

  1. After a deep freeze, raw or ready-to-eat food, baking, frying, steaming, or heating over high heat.
    1. The primary test measures the degree of damage caused to each product's nutrients individually during freezing, cooling, or heating to high heat. We are taking into account the product's shelf life.
  2. In their final serving form, food and beverages contain substances that are not wholly natural, such as artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, solidified vegetable oils, trans fats, artificial flavors, colorants, preservatives, etc.
  3. Animal and plant nutrients are grown under conditions that are not optimalSuch as:
    1. Animal foods that have received growth hormones, antibiotics, and foods that target unnatural obesity for the specific animal. Various unneeded chemicals.
    2. Plant foods are grown under conditions that impair product quality. Such food has undergone chemical spraying or harmful biological treatment, growing produce in untreated wastewater and poor soil unsuitable for the specific crop.
  4. Food packed in tin cans (leaking), smoked food. (Smoking may contain unhealthy chemicals.)


Continue reading: Criteria for classification into industrialized, processed food and beverages.

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