Benefits of food processing
Benefits of food processing include toxin removal, preservation, easing marketing and distribution tasks, and
increasing food consistency.
In addition, it increases yearly availability of many foods, enables transportation of delicate perishable foods
across long distances and makes many kinds of foods safe to eat by de-activating spoilage and pathogenic
Modern supermarkets would not exist without modern food processing techniques, and long voyages would not
Processed foods are usually less susceptible to early spoilage than fresh foods and are better suited for long
distance transportation from the source to the consumer.
Processed foods helped to alleviate food shortages and improved the overall nutrition of populations as it made
many new foods available to the masses.
Processing can also reduce the incidence of food-borne disease. Fresh materials, such as fresh produce and
raw meats, are more likely to harbour pathogenic micro-organisms (e.g. Salmonella) capable of causing serious
WHY FOOD PACKAGING
Packaging food products offers foods with extended shelf life that provides more time for sale, and income to
build small business. This process both recovers food normally lost and promotes economic development in the
The key is shelf life extension and safe food products.
Opportunities related to food processing
Through public/private sector partnerships, it is possible to establish a sustainable supply of locally processed
One possible action is public investments in a food process and product development centre to support local
entrepreneurs with training and technical assistance in:
Improved food processing methods.
Researching and developing new and improved quality products.
Carrying out market studies and consumer tests.
Building consumer preferences and tastes into process and product development.
Establishing modern food safety/quality management systems.
Establishing producer owned enterprises
Well organised producer organisations have an opportunity to establish their own food processing
Establishing linkages with centralized food processing units
The alternative to setting up producer owned enterprises is to forge partnerships with the existing food
Why promote food processing?
To trap potentials-opportunities for
Improving livelihoods status of all Rwandans though
Self sufficient in: food, clothing, education, health,…
Integrating food processing, new product development, food safety and quality in the management of food supply
chains increases competitiveness and contribute significantly to the establishment of sustainable food supply
chains that are consumer oriented and therefore competitive.
Impact of food processing on environment
Due to the highly diversified nature of the food industry, various food processing, handling and packaging
operations create wastes of different quality and quantity, which, if not treated, could lead to increasing disposal
problems and severe pollution problems
Waste from food processing;
Improve efficiency in waste treatment,
Minimize waste from food processing and manufacturing operations through advanced manufacturing practices,
and constructive utilization through bioconversion of by-products and waste into edible food, feed or industrial
chemicals in order to decrease environmental loadings as a consequence of better integrated waste
management (biofuel from sugar cane molasses, agricultural waste for animal nutrition, organic fertilizers)
Environmental impacts can be minimized by:
1. Improving awareness
2. Better management
Such measures are likely also to improve product quality and reduce costs