Category Archives: Processing Terms

Artisanal

This term implies a product is made by hand and in small batches. Continue reading

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Canned

Canned foods are preserved in liquid or dried and stored in a container that is heated to remove excess air and create a vacuumed seal. Canning does not imply safety, as foods must undergo the appropriate pickling or cooking process to achieve sterilization. Continue reading

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Cry-o-vac

A form of meat storage utilizing liquid and plastic bags which are vacuumed and sealed to remove any access air. This is performed to prevent the product from breathing and slow the aging process. This is the most common form of meat packing and storage. Continue reading

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Cured

Curing is using a combination of salt, sugar, nitrite and/or nitrates for the purposes of preservation, along with flavor and color enhancement. Cure ingredients can be rubbed on to the food surface, mixed into foods or dissolved in water. The end result is a food that uses a chemical process to inhibit microbial growth, making the foods safe for lengthy unrefrigerated storage and human consumption. Continue reading

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Dehydrated

Dehydrating a food requires the removal of all liquids and is used most often for storage or transport. Dehydrated foods typically require rehydration before consumption. Continue reading

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Dried

Dried foods have gone through a process to remove excess liquids for the purpose of increasing shelf life or to prepare for consumption. Drying does not imply dehydration as a certain percentage of moisture is retained to allow for the consumption of the product in the dried form without rehydration. Continue reading

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Dry-Aged

This process requires the hanging of meats in temperature and humidity controlled rooms for a designated period of time to relax the muscles and tenderize the flesh while developing flavor. Most commercial meats are stored in plastic and liquids with artificial additives to try to accelerate and simulate these results. Continue reading

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Farmstead

Products that are listed as “farmstead”, such as cheeses, have been produced at the same location the product was raised. Continue reading

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Flash Frozen

Flash freezing is used to quickly freeze perishable food items. Foods items are subjected to temperatures well below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the water inside the foods to freeze in a very short period of time without forming large crystals. This prevents damage to the cells, preventing freezer burn and sugar degradation to preserve the foods flavor and texture. Continue reading

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Freeze Dried

Freeze Drying is a dehydration process for preserving perishable foods or to make them more convenient for transport. Freeze-drying works by freezing the material, reducing the surrounding pressure and then adding enough heat to turn the frozen water directly into a gas and escape. This process preserves many of the sugars often lost in dehydration and can increase flavor upon rehydration. Continue reading

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Fresh Frozen

Fresh frozen implies that a food is frozen within the first 24 hours after harvest or slaughter. This is not the same as flash frozen as this is about time from harvest or slaughter not process. The term is of importance because without processing, sugars and nutrients in most foods can break down after the first 24 hours by as much as 50%. Continue reading

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GAPs

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) are principles of production, processing and storage to reduce microbial infection. Continue reading

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Homogenization

Homogenization is the process of reducing the particle size of fluid products such as milk, fruit juice and sauces to make them more stable and have a more uniform texture. Continue reading

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Pasteurization

Pasteurization is a process of heating a food, usually liquid, to a specific temperature for a definite length of time and then cooling it immediately to slow the growth of microbial bacteria. Continue reading

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Pickled

Pickling is the preservation or cooking of food with an acid or brine solution, with or without the use of heat. The elimination of microbes to insure safety is a result of the reaction of the foods with the acid or a fermentation process and does not require heat. Continue reading

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Raw

Foods that have never been pasteurized, or heated to a minimum of 145 degrees Fahrenheit are considered to be “raw”. The USDA and FDA require that all raw milk cheeses in the United States are aged a minimum of 60 days. The sale of raw milk is prohibited in most states, excluding Missouri. Continue reading

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Raw Milk (Missouri Law)

Farmers can sell raw milk and cream to the final consumer either on the farm or through delivery without being required to have a permit. Those interested in selling raw milk and cream other than on-farm or through delivery (e.g., farmers markets) must obtain a retail raw milk permit from the state and must have state approved bottling equipment on the premises. In addition, farmers with a retail raw milk permit must comply with state labeling regulations for raw milk and raw milk products. Continue reading

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Smoked

Smoking is a method of preparing protein-rich foods and to prevent them from spoiling quickly. The dehydration that occurs in the process and the antibacterial properties of absorbed smoke provide the preservation mechanisms, but do not necessarily “cure” the meat for food safety. Continue reading

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Sulfured

Sulfured fruits have been treated with sulfur dioxide or meta bisulfate to prevent oxidation (browning) during the drying process and preserve the natural color. Continue reading

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Vegan

Vegan foods contain no animal products or byproducts at all, including meat, dairy, eggs, gelatin or honey. Continue reading

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Vegetarian

Vegetarian foods include fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds with or without dairy products and insect byproducts such as honey. A vegetarian product will not contain any meat that is mammalian, poultry, fish, crustacean or a derivative of their slaughter. Continue reading

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Wood-Fired

Foods that are baked in a clay, brick or sod oven that is fired by wood are wood-fired versus baked in a conventional oven with gas or electricity. Continue reading

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