There are various methods used in the processing of food both the modern and traditional food processing methods. Skilled craftsmen are very good in the processing of food products using the traditional food processing methods in a process known as artisanal food processing. Most of the food products that are made by use of hands by the food artisans includes cheese, bread, cured meat, preserved fruits, oils, beverages and vinegar. Artisan foods are processed with an aim of ensuring that consumers are able to get locally sourced food. Processing of locally produced foods creates market for the producers’ goods and also helps in improving the economy of the local area. Artisan foods are mainly made using simple techniques of preservation and fermentation that helps in increasing the shelf life of some food products that are highly perishable such as the fruits. Food processing through fermentation helps use the beneficial bacterial into producing consumer products with long shelf life such as wine and vinegar.
Artisan foods produced are usually produced over a long period of time since the processes of making the food are depending on the hands activity of the craftsmen giving the food products enough time to mature. Artisan food usually have a high nutrition value since most nutrients are retain as they are being processed for a long period of time hence healthy for human consumption. The artisan foods are also consumed mainly in the locality of where the food is produced since the methods produce just enough food products hence cannot be supplied to other areas. Farmers markets are the main distribution sites for the artisan foods in a given area. In other regions, supermarkets and fast food outlet are used in selling artisan foods to consumers.
Legislations as well as food processing safety precautions should be looked into when processing artisan foods to ensure safe consumption of foods. Personal hygiene for craftsmen is very important for ensuring that the food being processed is safe for human consumption. Personal hygiene practices such as washing hands, reducing food contact with bare hands, having protective clothing and ensuring general personal cleanliness helps reduce food contamination during processing. Maintaining cleanliness of the general working environment is also crucial in ensuring food safety by mostly ensuring that all pest such as cockroaches and rat are kept at bay since most of them carry disease vectors. It is also important to ensure that there is proper management of waste that is being produced in the food processing areas hence ensuring food safety.
Most consumers prefer artisan foods in the farmers market since they are not genetically modified and therefore they have their flavors not altered. Artisan foods produced locally are produced using organic techniques without the use of pesticides hence there is no worry of pesticide residue to consumers. Local economies usually grow tremendously since there is flow of income between the producers, processors and consumers of local artisan foods.