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. Cheese, bread, cured meat, preserved fruits, oils, beverages and vinegar are some of the food that are made by craftsmen by the use of hands. Locally produced raw materials which include food produced locally are used in the processing of artisan foods. Providing market for locally produced goods as well as promoting the economy of the local area is the main aim of processing artisan food. 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. Beneficial microorganisms that can lead to food spoilage are put into good use making some consumer products such as wine and vinegar through the process of fermentation.
Processes followed in making artisan foods takes quite a lot of time which makes the food to mature and have their flavors in them other than artificially added flavors. 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. Artisan food production is mainly just enough for the local area supply having little or no surplus amount to supply to other areas. Farmers markets are the main distribution sites for the artisan foods in a given area. Supermarkets and fast food stores can also have artisan foods available to consumers in some regions.
Different regions have safety precautions and legislation that need to be followed in the processing of artisan foods to ensure health safety to consumers. Personal hygiene for craftsmen is very important for ensuring that the food being processed is safe for human consumption. This helps in reducing contamination of food products such as washing hands, reducing food contact with bare hands, having protective clothing and ensuring general personal cleanliness. Working environment cleanliness is very important during food processing since it helps keep away disease-causing vectors that are likely to compromise the health quality of the artisan food. Waste produced during food processing should be well managed to prevent it from attracting vectors that affect the quality of food.
Artisan food are very important in ensuring that a consumer avoids eating genetically modified foods that do not have the flavors of originally produced food. Most artisanal foods are peaked locally from farms where production is mostly organic hence they have their flavors and also safe from pesticide residues. Artisan foods are very good in promoting the economic growth of local communities by ensuring that producers make income from their produces.