Food & Diet
8 Ways in Which Healthy Produce Is Ruined When Being Processed
Foods that we eat can be processed in a number of ways, and all of those processes affect the original nutritive values of those produce in some way. Even only cooking a meal at home is a way of processing and it can reduce the amount of nutrients in the food you’re cooking.
While some processing makes food safer and more shelf stable, others result in losses of vitamins and minerals.
Processing methods include milling, fermentation, thermal processing, germination or sprouting, and extrusion. Nutrients such as vitamins and folic acid are very sensitive to these methods.
Therefore, some foods that are essentially healthy can be ruined when being processed, and here are the ways in which this happens:
1. Physical separation of different components through milling affects the nutritional value.
Through milling of grains, components are separated and the nutritional value changes.
For example, by milling, wheat is made more digestible. However, during the process, steel rollers are used to crush the grain and then sifters separate the flour from the endosperm to reach a certain level of fineness. The bran and germ are completely removed in the process, and since they make 28% of wheat, it means the nutritional content is significantly changed.
According to an article published in Ecological Agriculture Projects, 95% of the flour consumed in America contains only up to 30% of the vitamins originally contained in the grains. The amount of protein isn’t significantly changed.
These changes in nutritional values make scientists wonder about the safety and quality of the produce, especially considering that many producers also add chemicals to enrich the flour. The milling process in which white flour is produced seems to ruin the quality of wheat, as according to an article from 1942, the health of the British significantly deteriorated since their diets have become more based on white instead of whole wheat flour.