The Complete Guide to Food – What is That Ingredient On The Label?
Food is any material consumed to provide nutrition to an organism for a specific time. It is generally of inorganic or organic source and often contains nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, or even minerals. Food provides the energy required to perform normal body functions. The human body also requires food to survive. The nutritional value of food can be measured by calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber. There are 5 major groups of food, which include carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, fruits, and fats.
Carbohydrates are found in foods such as breads, pastas, cereals, potato products, rice, and potatoes. They are generally made up of one of five forms: available, partially available, whole-grain, refined, and legumes (black beans, peas, lentils). The vegetable family includes fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, and therefore are the most important food sources. Some common vegetable sources are: peppers, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, squash, cabbage, and other green leaves; fruit such as apples, oranges, grapes, and other fruits; and nuts, such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, and chestnuts.
To optimize the nutrient value of food, processing methods and ingredients are used. Some processing methods are pasteurization, curing, smoking, mincing, steam heating, drying, pickling, jellying, etc. To preserve food, freezing, canning, pasteurizing, and curing methods are commonly employed. Some common food additives include vitamins, meat enzymes, saline, flavorings, sugar, textured vegetable protein (TVP), and other polysaccharides.