Did you know that in the United States alone more than 1,683 million dollars a year are spent on advertising prepared foods? Why so much? Well, because the food industry is the largest industry of all and the fruit of the modern world. It satisfies the food needs of the population and guarantees survival.
What is the food industry?
The food industry is defined as a productive sector that manufactures and distributes, in conditions of sale, any type of food for the consumption of society.
To this end, various industrialization processes are carried out in which an initial raw material (animal or vegetable) is converted into products that form part of the human or pet food chain.
What are the processes of the food industry?
Surely you are wondering what are the stages through which a product X that you acquired today in the market has gone through. There are several essential processes that result in the shaping of the product we buy in retail establishments. These are:
✅ Receipt of food: When in their initial state they are transported from the field or other place from where they are obtained to the warehouses. At this stage, quality control is carried out through selection and discarding actions, ensuring that the foodstuffs have the minimum conditions to pass to the rest of the processes. This will be influenced by the professional judgment of workers trained in these tasks.
Food storage: Here the raw material obtained is classified and controlled, trying to adequately maintain indicators such as humidity and temperature. Depending on the food, the warehouses can be airtight, open-air or refrigerated. In addition, it is determined what would be the possible production, always leaving a margin of error.
✅ Food processing: When processing is carried out. The processing of each is different, as well as the level of complexity. It depends on the food itself, technological advances and available labor.
This stage involves subsectors such as the meat or canning industry, to cite two examples, where the products are obtained already processed or semi-elaborated. As in previous processes, quality assurance systems are used.
Food preservation: To give it a longer shelf life. Different techniques are used so that once processed they reach consumers intact, healthy and wholesome.
Below I provide a succession of ways to preserve: refrigeration, freezing, salting, acidification, dehydration, sterilization, pasteurization or the use of chemical preservatives.
✅ Distribution and marketing: When food is placed in markets and other places of sale and consumption. This is where the wholesalers and retailers who are in charge of this step come in.
The products at this point already have a set price. It is assigned according to a series of factors that influence the processing as the raw material to be used, labor employed or with the market as the existing demand.
In this new transfer must protect the safety of the food delivered and prevent them from suffering environmental contamination or other external factors.
✅ Food service: This is the final process in the food industry. The foodstuffs are placed in the relevant establishments ready for consumption by the potential buyer. In this last step, the control of healthiness, hygiene and correct handling by employees must also take precedence.
✔ Types of food industry
Types of food industry can be established according to the degree of processing of the product or the type of food.
✅ According to the degree of product processing: fresh product handling industries. The product is for immediate use (an animal slaughterhouse).
▶ Semi-canneries: in order to give a longer shelf life, actions such as transforming one product into another are carried out (dairy industries).
Canneries: They preserve food for as long as possible, preventing rapid deterioration (canned fish preserves).
✅ According to the type of food (the various sectors involved in the food industry):
- Meat industry
- Vegetable oil manufacturing industries
- Agricultural sector
- Fruit and vegetable technology
- Sugar industry
- Dairy industry
- Fishing industry
- Cocoa Industry
- Bakery Industry
- Animal Feed Products
- Water Sector
- Wine Sector
- Beer Sector
- Alcoholic Beverages Sector
- Other miscellaneous products
Characteristics of the food industry
When I talk about the food industry, I am referring to the largest existing industry on the planet. It is characterized by the use of animal and vegetable raw materials that are then processed to obtain the final product.
It is composed of several processes that can be manual or automated and hygiene always prevails. It increases as demand increases globally.
New techniques are being put into practice all the time, leading to a greater diversity of food products. These, together with studies and technological advances, represent a latent development.
Thanks to the food industry, the food you eat is safer and remains in good condition.
✔ Quality control and processes in the food industry.
With proper quality control you will be more competitive with respect to other companies. Being safer will always be positive.
Production plans are established after the control of resources (material or human) and operations according to standards necessary for the product to be elaborated to be optimal in the market.
One of the parameters to be in an adequate state are the sensory properties. Quality control ensures that the food has the necessary flavor, aroma, texture and color.
Another of the properties to be analyzed are the quantitative ones: amount of sugar, fiber, proteins, etcetera.
After the use of technological and chemical instruments, it must be ensured that the food remains healthy and non-toxic for the consumer. In this way, the health of the food is preserved, losses and rejections are avoided and the prestige of the company is maintained. This is the purpose of supervision in each of the processes. The products generated by the food industry will never become dispensable for society. This is why it will be imperishable and central to the planet for as long as mankind exists.