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Food Production: Types, Methods, Advantages, Disadvantages, Practice Problems and FAQs

Food is a basic need of an organism for survival. We all consume different types of food items which give us energy required to perform work and various life processes. We can obtain food from either animal or plant sources. It is identified that the animals and plants provide around 90% of the food required for the world. Examples include dairy products, honey, grains, meat, vegetables and fruits. We process most of these food items before consumption.

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Fig: Processed food

Food production is considered as the process of transforming raw materials into edible food products. This can be done directly at home or commercially at industries. The process of food production involves various stages and each stage is important. These stages start with the basic steps like cleaning, processing, segregation and ends with packing and marketing. In this article we are going to discuss food production in depth.

Table of contents

  • Food production
  • Process of food production
  • Categories of food production
  • Methods of food production
  • Food systems
  • Advantages of food production
  • Disadvantages of food production
  • Practice Problems
  • FAQs

Food production

The various food products we consume are obtained from plants or animal sources. These products consist of honey, eggs, milk, cereals, grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, meat etc. Once the raw materials are obtained it is processed before consumption. Food production refers to the preparation of food from the raw materials for human use at home or in industries.

Fig: Food production

Process of food production

The process of food production involves the following steps:

Input

It refers to the various raw materials required for the process of food production. Examples include honey, meat, milk, grains, cereals etc.

Fig: Input

Processing

This is the second step in food production and it is the conversion of raw ingredients into edible forms. Examples include broiling, pickling, fermentation etc.

GIF: Processing

Output

It refers to the final product that is obtained in the food production. For example, jams, pickles etc.

Fig: Output

Categories of food production

Food production is a vast field and includes different categories. Some of them are listed below:

Cultivation

The process of preparation of the soil for raising crops is commonly referred to as cultivation. It involves ploughing, irrigation etc.

Fig: Ploughing

Crop production

It is the process of raising crops for commercial and domestic processes. Common examples include growing pulses, grains, jute, cotton etc.

Fig: Crop production

Crop management

It includes the various steps used in the agricultural industry to improve the growth, development and yield of the crops. This includes seedbed preparation, sowing of seeds, weeding, timely addition of fertilisers, crop maintenance, irrigation, harvesting, proper storage and marketing of the products.

Fig: Sowing

Harvesting

It is the process of gathering the useful parts of the plant. This is done once the plant reaches maturity.

Fig: Harvesting of crops

Preservation

It refers to the process of handling and treating the agricultural products to stop or slow down the spoilage. This will help in preserving the quality and nutritive value. This can be done by various methods depending on the types of harvest. Examples include drying, salting, bagging, fermentation, heating, smoking etc. These processes normally prevent the growth of microorganisms.

Fig: Salting to kill microorganisms

Fermentation

It is the process of conversion of carbohydrates to organic acids or alcohols using microorganisms like bacteria or yeasts in anaerobic conditions. Commercially it is done in fermentors. Examples include making wine.

Fig: Fermentor

Pickling

It is considered as the process of preserving the edible products obtained from plant or animal sources in an acid medium like vinegar in the presence of salts and chilli. Examples include mango pickle.

Fig: Pickling

Cooking

It is considered as the process of heating food items to make them more palatable and easily digestible. It also destroys and inactivates the parasites or microorganisms that are present.

Fig: Cooking

Grilling

It is the process of cooking food items on a rack placed over a heat source like ceramic briquettes heated by gas flames or a charcoal fire.

Stewing

It is the process of cooking smaller pieces of meat like lamb, vegetables, chicken etc., completely immersed in liquid.

Broiling

It is the process of cooking large pieces of chicken or meat partially covered in liquid.

Baking

It is considered as the process of cooking by dry heat in some kind of oven or cooker. This process is used to prepare cakes, muffins, pastries etc.

Braising

It is the process of cooking meat gently in liquids until it becomes a tender, succulent, meat which can be cut by a fork.

Methods of food production

In the food industry various methods are used for the production of food. Some of these methods can be used at home but some are complicated and can be used only in the food processing industries. There are several forms of food production that are used today. Food production and food processing are interrelated and hence the steps show overlapping. Food processing refers to the processes that change the raw materials into products which can either be consumed directly or need to undergo some process before eating. Food production refers to processes of making ready to eat food at home or in industries. Cooking is the common term used to represent food production.

Slicing

It is a general term used in food production and is the process of cutting the vegetables, fruits, meat etc., into thin, uniform pieces.

Fig: Slicing of meat

Grinding

It is the process of breaking solid food items into smaller particles. For example, a coffee grinder is used to grind coffee beans.

Mixing

It is the process of combining two or more items to reach a certain level of homogeneity. This will make the food more palatable.

Marinating

It is the process of creating a flavoured food by soaking the foods in a salted, or acidic medium with chillies or masalas depending on the food items before cooking.

Fermenting

It is the process of conversion of carbohydrates to organic acids or alcohols using microorganisms like bacteria or yeasts in anaerobic conditions. Examples include making wine.

Fig: Fermenting

Curing

It is the process of adding salts, sugars or acids to the meat for preservation or to increase the flavour and colour.

Boiling

It is the process of cooking the food by immersing it in water which has been heated to its boiling point.

Broiling

It is the process of cooking large pieces of chicken or meat partially covered in liquid.

Emulsifying

It is the process of combining two or more ingredients which do not normally mix easily. For example mixing oil and water.

Grilling

It is the process of cooking food items on a rack placed over a heat source like ceramic briquettes heated by gas flames or a charcoal fire.

Frying

It is the process of cooking food in hot oils or fats. This can be done by two methods: shallow fry or deep fry. In the shallow frying, the food is fried in a pan with little oil. In deep frying, the food items are completely immersed in a deeper vessel of hot oil.

Steaming

It is the method of cooking food items using steam. This can be done using a food steamer. In this method the heat for cooking is created by boiling water which evaporates into steam. This steam then brings heat to the food.

Pasteurisation

It is the process of heating milk or fruit juices in a properly designed and operated equipment to one specified pasteurisation time and temperature combinations. For example heating food items at 161° F for not less than 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.

Food system

The food system refers to the food chain which begins with raw materials and ends with the consumption of final food products. It includes the following stages:

Food production

Food production refers to processes of making ready to eat food at home or in industries. It includes agriculture, farming etc.

Fig: Food production

Distribution and aggregation

It involves the distribution of various types of food items.

Fig: Distribution of food items

Food processing

It refers to the processes that change the raw materials into products which can either be consumed directly or need to undergo some process before eating.

Fig: Food processing

Marketing

It involves the selling of the processed food items. This needs proper advertisements.

Purchasing

It involves the buying of processed food items by the customers from shops, restaurants, hotels etc.

Consumption

It is the utilisation of the food by the consumer.

Fig: Consumption

Waste recovery

It involves the management of the wastes from the food production, processing, marketing and consumption levels. This step ensures that the output is maximum with minimum input and wastage. This can be done by proper food production management.

Fig: Waste recovery

Food production management

It is the process of optimising and managing the food production. It involves the development and implementation of various plans to manage and control different levels of the food system. It ensures that all the parts involved are working in a coordinated manner and include the following steps:

  • Purchasing of raw ingredients and materials.
  • Hiring the required professionals. Examples include chefs, waiters etc.
  • Creating proper budgets.
  • Ensuring the quality of food served.
  • Maintaining the infrastructure.
  • Following protocols.
  • Following cleanliness.
  • Reducing wastage generation.
  • Proper disposal of wastes.
  • Maintaining the operational records.
  • Proper handling of customers.
  • Managing the inventory (the process of ordering, using, storing, and selling the inventory)

Advantages of food production

The following are somes of the advantages of food production:

  • Food production is a vast industry which gives lots of opportunities.
  • It gives employment to a large group of people like chefs, local vendors, waiters and farmers.
  • Industries include restaurants, local food markets, grocery stores, online food delivery apps, agriculture etc.
  • It is a source of income for the population, especially for home makers.
  • It increases exports and helps in maintaining foreign relations.
  • It helps in proper distribution of food.
  • It makes the food available to all populations.
  • The food production industry plays a significant role in the economy. A huge portion of the economy in countries like India and China comes from agriculture.

Disadvantages of Food production

The following are the major disadvantages of food production:

  • It causes climate changes. For example, stubble burning causes pollution in Delhi.
  • It causes water and soil pollution especially by the use of chemical fertilisers, preservatives, weedicides etc.

Fig: Addition of chemical fertilisers and pesticides

  • It causes the extinction of many species.
  • It also causes greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

Climate Action, The Essentials: understanding and tackling climate change |  Voices of Youth

GIF: Greenhouse gas emissions and global warming

Practice Problems

  1. Which of the given techniques is going to play a major role in enhancing food production?

(A) Embryo transfer technique
(B) Tissue culture technique
(C) Fermentation
(D) Both A and B

Solution: Tissue culture and embryo transfer technique play a major role in enhancing food production as these techniques produce a new hybrid variety with desirable characteristics in a short period of time. It has increased the production and quality of milk, meat, egg, honey and wool. Hence the correct option is D.

  1. What are the common strategies for enhancement in food production?

(i) Plant breeding
(ii) Animal husbandry
(iii) Tissue culture techniques
(iv) Embryo transfer technology

(A) i, ii and iii
(B) Only iii and iv
(C ) Only i and iii
(D) i, ii, iii and iv

Solution: Food production can be enhanced by the following strategies like animal husbandry, embryo transfer technique, plant breeding, and tissue culture technique. All these techniques are involved in the production of new varieties with desirable characteristics for human consumption. Hence the correct option is D.

  1. How can food production be increased without expanding agricultural land?

Answer: Increase in food production without expanding agricultural land can be done in the following ways:

  • By increasing the pasture and livestock productivity.
  • By bringing improvement in crop breeding strategies.
  • By proper water and soil management.
  • By utilising the existing cropland in an effective way.
  • By understanding and adapting to the climate changes.
  1. Identify the organic compound produced by fermentation which partially replaced the fossil fuels?

(A) Methanol
(B) Butanol
(C) Propanol
(D) Ethanol

Answer: Fermentation refers to the process of derivation of energy present in sugar that is released in the form of ATP in the absence of oxygen. In ethanol fermentation, glucose is converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide with the help of microbes like bacteria and yeast. Ethanol is produced through the fermentation of domestic or agricultural waste and used as a blending agent with gasoline. This cuts down carbon monoxide emissions and makes this fuel eco-friendly. Hence the correct option is D.

FAQs

  1. Write down the objectives of food production?

Answer: The four main objectives of the food production are as follows:

  • Satisfaction of the customer.
  • Providing information about the products.
  • Safety of the producer and customer.
  • Commercial availability of the products and raw materials.
  1. Identify the major factors affecting food production?

Answer: The production of food items from plants and animals are affected by the following common factors:

  • Light availability.
  • Availability of nutrients.
  • Adequate amount of water.
  • Fertility of the soil.
  1. Write down the major challenges to food production?

Answer: The major challenges to food production are as follows:

  • Climate changes.
  • Changes in precipitation patterns and temperatures.
  • Decreased yield and growth rates.
  • Improper application of fertilisers and insecticides.
  • Lack of new farmlands.
  • Soil erosion and degradation.
  • Lack of water resources.
  1. Who identified the petro-crops?

(A) Calvin
(B) Krebs
(C ) Swaminathan
(D) Borlaug

Answer: In 1979, Calvin reported for the first time the use of certain plants for the manufacture of hydrocarbon derivatives. Those were called petro-crops. Examples include Euphoria lathyrus.

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