There are various methods used in the processing of food both the modern and traditional food processing methods. Traditional food processing method is still common in most areas where skilled craftsmen are used in the processing of food products through a method known as artisanal food processing. Artisanal food processing usually makes food using the hands and can make foods such as cheese, bread, cured meat, preserved fruits, oils, beverages and vinegar. Locally produced raw materials which include food produced locally are used in the processing of artisan foods. Processing of locally produced foods creates market for the producers’ goods and also helps in improving the economy of the local area. Artisan foods are mainly made using simple techniques of preservation and fermentation that helps in increasing the shelf life of some food products that are highly perishable such as the fruits. Fermentation makes use of beneficial microorganism in producing products that are useful to consumers such as vinegar and wine.
Making artisan foods usually takes a long period of time since all processes followed depends on hand processes making food to mature over time hence retaining their flavors. Giving artisan food time to mature makes them retain their nutrition value hence making them very healthy for human consumption. Most artisan foods are produced just enough for the people living in the given area without any surplus to export to other areas. Most of the artisan foods are usually sold in the farmers markets since there are many people who visit the place. Supermarkets and fast food stores can also have artisan foods available to consumers in some regions.
During the processing of artisan foods by craftsmen, there are legislation and safety precautions that have to be followed to ensure that the food produced are safe for human consumption. Food safety for consumption is first enhanced by ensuring that all craftsmen maintain proper personal hygiene. This helps in reducing contamination of food products such as washing hands, reducing food contact with bare hands, having protective clothing and ensuring general personal cleanliness. Food safety can also be enhanced by ensuring that the working environment is always clean and free from pests that are disease vectors. Proper waste management helps in ensuring that the food processing is safe from any disease-causing organisms.
Most artisan food retain their flavors since they are not genetically modified hence good for consumers. Most artisanal foods are peaked locally from farms where production is mostly organic hence they have their flavors and also safe from pesticide residues. Local economies usually grow tremendously since there is flow of income between the producers, processors and consumers of local artisan foods.