Food security is a frequently discussed global issue; from insufficient nutritional intake in first-world countries to malnutrition in underdeveloped states, many factors affect food security.
Food extrusion is one process that is popularly used to efficiently manufacture food products that last longer and have added nutritional benefits.
Understanding food extrusion:
Food extrusion is a process involving a hypothermal treatment in which different ingredients like soy, wheat, maize, and others are processed at high temperatures. The process involves mixing, heating, cooling, and pushing the mixture through a die to shape it according to the requirements.
Food extrusion has been around for over 50 years. At first, it was used to make sausages. However, once it became more mainstream, it included dry pasta, cereals, and more. Food extrusion is an essential feature of several industries, including confectionery, bakery products, meat and plant-based meat processing, cereals, pet food, feed, and many others.
Nutritional benefits of extrusion:
Extrusion is mainly popular due to two reasons. Firstly, it makes mass production of food extremely efficient by using high temperature and very little time. Secondly, the finished products that are produced via extrusion are loaded with nutrients.
Food extrusion makes the protein and starch content more digestible while retaining several micronutrients. Additionally, besides improving denaturation and gelatinization, certain anti-nutrients like hemagglutinins and gossypol and unwanted enzymes like lip oxidases, lipases, and potentially harmful microorganisms are eliminated.
The fact that food extrusion technology can help with energy-efficient and eco-friendly methods of mass production of food has contributed to its popularity. The final product with a longer shelf life and additional nutrients is the perfect way to combat malnutrition and food insecurity.