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Food processing

Food processing is the conversion of raw bulk ingredients (agricultural products) into food for human consumption or transforming one form of food into another.


What comes to mind when you think of processed foods? You’re right if you think of items such as snack chips, cookies, and soft drinks.

But you might be surprised to learn that most foods we eat are processed.
Processing food definition = Food processing is any deliberate change in a food that occurs before it’s available for human consumption.

It can be as simple as drying or freezing food to preserve nutrients and freshness or as complex as formulating a frozen meal with the right ingredients and nutrients.

A few examples of processed foods include:

  • Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables,
  • Packaged foods labeled “natural” or “organic,” such as cereals, fresh meat, and poultry, and jarred baby foods,
  • Foods with health and nutrition claims on the label, such as “may reduce the risk of heart disease,” “low in fat,” or “high in calcium,”
  • Foods strengthened with nutrients such as fiber, vitamin D, or omega-3 fatty acids,
  • Foods that are prepared in restaurants, cafeterias, sports arenas, and other locations.

Primary food processing

Primary processing is the conversion of raw materials to food commodities. Milling is an example of primary processing.

Secondary food processing

Secondary processing is the conversion of ingredients into edible products – this involves combining foods in a particular way to change properties. Baking bread is an example of secondary processing.

Tertiary food processing

Tertiary food processing produces prepared convenience foods like canned soups or frozen dinners.


Food processing companies manufacture, package, or store food for human consumption.

A food-producing company sells its products to households, restaurants, or institutional food services through a grocer or wholesaler. Food processing companies are responsible for ensuring their products are safe for consumption.

Companies active in industrial food processing mainly process dairy products, preserved fruits and vegetables, grain mill productspet foods, bakery products, confectionery products, fats and oils, and more.

The food manufacturing process can be organized in unit operations, such as:

These operations are controlled to maintain consistent product quality, safeguard staff health, and food safety standards, and avoid problems that may stop the production line from running, which would result in ‘downtime.’


In an economy with rising production costs, new regulations, and changing safety standards, food processors have an even more challenging time remaining profitable.

By focusing on controlling and monitoring costs related to food processing and storage, food manufacturing and processing companies can make measurable improvements in their business.

Food processing software provides the functionality and value needed to improve operational efficiency.

Food processing software offers the following benefits:

  • Traceability
  • Reduced materials consumption, and therefore less waste
  • Improved decision-making
  • Measurement of key performance indicators
  • Greater visibility of operational performance
  • Consistently deliver reliable food products
  • Keep up with the latest food safety standards

The response drives the food manufacturing industry to both customer and consumer trends and needs.

The food processing industry is a large segment of the overall food industry, from farming and food production, packaging and distribution to retail and catering.

Finding a source covering all aspects of processing bulk dry foods and food manufacturing is challenging.

Product supervisors and plant and project engineers must keep up-to-date with the latest food processing news.

Access to news on breakthrough technologies in food processing, food processing innovations, and general food industry news and events is crucial for any food industry professional.

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Articles about Food processing

Our latest E-mail campaigns for Food processing

  • Food Processing – Market Insight – February 29, 2024 download
  • Food Processing Technology – Market Insight – November 9, 2023 download
  • Food Processing Technology – May 11, 2023 download
  • Food Processing Technology – November 10, 2022 download

Experts for Food processing

Gareth Meese works as Regional Sales Director – EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, India, and Northern Africa) for Eriez-Europe, a global leader in several key technology areas, including magnetic separation, metal detection, and material handling equipment. With nearly 20 years of experience in continuously-evolving positions, Gareth is well versed in bulk material handling applications. When Gareth joined Eriez as an Export Sales Engineer, he led several Eriez teams tasked with expanding business throughout Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and the Czech Republic. Later, as Export Sales Manager, he concentrated on growing Eriez-Europe in Russia, Europe and Northern Africa. His recent promotion expands his geographic responsibilities further with the addition of the Middle East and India. Gareth has been instrumental in pursuing Eriez’ vision and holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Cardiff University. Gareth is more than prepared to discuss and recommend a tailored solution for any unique bulk material handling application.
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Matthew Bailey – Technical Lead

Matthew is a mechanical engineer holding an honours degree from the Auckland University of Technology and has been responsible for BFM® Global’s product development, testing and compliance programme for almost 5 years. Matt’s experience is centered on the powder handling industry with a specific focus on flexible connectors, and all the compliance requirements around them. From food to pharmaceutical and all industries in between, Matt works with our Distributor partners, end users and OEMs from Europe, Asia and the Americas to solve application challenges. He regularly attends industry tradeshows around the world and understands the complex requirements of each different market.
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Robert brings over 25 years of experience for bulk material handling and material processing equipment to Material Transfer. At MTS, he is responsible to fostering new business opportunities while nurturing account relationships. His depth of experience and industry knowledge allows our Team to meet the growing needs of our customers as we continue to provide the highest quality systems to the marketplace.
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Nathan Grube is Regional Vice President of Sales for BinMaster covering the central United States including a ten-state area stretching from North Dakota to Texas. He joined BinMaster in 2001, already equipped with five years of experience in agricultural equipment. Grube has worked with end users, distributors, and OEMs across the US. His vast expertise covers many industries including agriculture, aggregates, cement, plastics, and mining, among others.
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Karen Van Aelst, ing., is a seasoned professional with a rich background in sales and engineering, particularly within the dry bulk handling and process industry. Over the course of 12 years, she honed her expertise in selling installations tailored for these sectors. In 2010, Karen transitioned to StuvEx, where she embarked on a decade-long journey as a sales engineer specializing in explosion protection. Her role encompassed managing sales activities in both BeLux and Germany, showcasing her proficiency in navigating diverse markets and establishing strong client relationships. Since 2019, Karen has assumed the position of Product Manager at StuvEx, where she is entrusted with the vital responsibilities of overseeing the development and market realization of explosion protection products. Her extensive experience in sales, coupled with her engineering background, positions her as a valuable asset in driving innovation and ensuring the safety of industrial environments. Karen’s dedication and expertise continue to play a pivotal role in the success of StuvEx in the field of explosion protection.
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Chris has been working at Spiroflow for over 10 years and is currently in the role of technical sales manager. He handles all the technical drawings and specifications during the sale and aides our drawing office while the equipment is designed, he also assists the manufacturing department with the build. His vast knowledge of powder handling and mechanical design is why he is involved in every aspect of designing our powder handling solutions.
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Travis has over 20 years of experience in the dry bulk solids industry and is the President at Vortex, an engineering and manufacturing company that specialises in process valves and loading solutions specifically for solids handling. Travis has worked on solution-driven installations across six continents and has a strong knowledge of market-specific regulations and requirements within the industry.
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Chuck Johnson is the director of sales at National Bulk Equipment, located in Holland, Michigan. His professional experience includes over 25 years in the design, engineering, & sales of bulk material handling equipment & systems. Johnson holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University.
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As the Sales Manager at Foeth, Michel Terlouw possesses an enthusiasm for international trade and excels in identifying the perfect match for every customer. In a company like Foeth, individuals with a solid technical background are truly indispensable. Clients from across the globe visit to explore our extensive inventory of pre-owned machines, and it’s essential to collaborate closely with each customer to determine which machine best suits their intended application. Michel is impassioned by the collaborative process of discovering the ideal machine alongside the customer because it aligns with our mission. The pursuit of finding the perfect solution is not only gratifying but also contributes to advancing sustainability within the industry.
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Arie Srugo was born in 1960 to the late Yaakov Srugo, who established his first factory for the production of industrial machinery in 1954 in Argentina.Ltd. “. In the mid-1970s, the factory was moved to the southern town of Netivot. Arie Srugo was employed in the factory as a salesman from the age of 16 and “pumped” into it the knowledge regarding machines for industry from an early age. In 1981, after his release from regular service in the army, Arie Srugo joined the company and was appointed its VP of Marketing. As part of his role as VP of Marketing and as CEO of the company, Arie Srugo has accumulated vast knowledge regarding industrial equipment in general and mixing equipment in particular. The company under his management began to export its machines all over the world and gained a great reputation among the companies in Israel. As part of his extensive activity in the field, Arie Srugo engaged in consulting, characterization, process planning, and adaptation of various industrial equipment to the company’s many customers. In addition, the company engaged in the planning and management of entire projects that the PerMix company undertook. Here in fact began to accumulate vast knowledge and experience in the field of planning and management of projects in the field of process for industry. PerMix, headed by Arie Srugo, has also managed projects abroad in various and varied fields. Throughout PerMix’s years of operation, the company has grown from primarily manufacturing under OEM contracts, building some of the largest brands in the industry, to complete, turn-key processing lines under the PerMix name.
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