Food Processing Facts

Food Processing deals with how some of the most common foods are put together and manufactured. Learn how hot dogs are made (if you dare) and what exactly is a Rice Krispy.


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What Are Hot Dogs Made Of?

Hot dogs are about as American as baseball and apple pie. You know you love them, but do you know what's actually in them?

Does Canned Food Really Deserve a Bad Rap?

Canned foods are super convenient, but there's often a stigma attached to serving them. Is that warranted?

How Processed Food Saved the World

A food historian argues against our romanticizing of eating 'fresh, local food, like great-grandma did' while ignoring the toil involved in doing so.

Tree Hot Dogs Are a Real Thing

Pass the cellulose! A Norwegian company is using renewable logging waste to replace saturated fat in hot dogs. It could help your health and the planet.

Can you buy deli meat without preservatives?

"All-natural" labeling offers a thin slice of reassurance to sandwich lovers who want to avoid nitrites and nitrates. But would deli meat be deli meat without them?

Does food packaging affect its nutritional value?

Your food might look perfectly fine on the plate, but silent ingredients — packaging chemicals — probably have seeped into it during storage. How do these substances affect your food?

Why do processed meats spoil so quickly?

Sometimes it seems as if processed meats (like the pastrami on your late-night sandwich) don't last long. But all those preservatives do serve a purpose — you'll be able to eat that pastrami days after your home-cooked chicken has gone bye-bye.

How Dehydrated Food Works

With its extended expiration date and super portability, it's no wonder people have been relying on dehydrated food for centuries. But is it any healthier for us?

How Flavor Enhancers Work

Salt and MSG don't just make things taste saltier – they brighten the flavors of almost any food. But how can the same ingredient make chocolate taste sweeter, take the bitterness out of grapefruit and make cream soup taste thicker?

What's vanishing caloric density?

When it comes to certain foods, self-control is a near impossibility. You can eat and eat (and eat) without ever feeling full. And you have your brain to blame.

Do Processed Foods Have 'Bliss Points'?

The next time you find yourself on the couch with your hand in an empty bag of chips, blame science. Researchers study exactly what it takes to keep you munching.

Who's afraid of pink slime?

Pink slime mixed with ground beef certainly doesn't make for the most appetizing mental picture. But is it really as bad as it sounds? How frightened should we be?

Sugar, Sugar: Your Crash Course in Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are in everything from soda to candy, and most people can't tell the difference between them and sugar. So what's the real deal?

What Exactly Is Jell-O Made From?

Everybody loves Jell-O, but very few people know what it's made from. Here's a hint: Vegetarians, steer clear.

Can children be allergic to food dyes?

Natural and artificial food dyes are found in all types of foods. Learn whether children can be allergic to food dyes in this article.

Genetically Modified Food Products Pictures

Scientists sometimes modify plant DNA to create genetically modified foods that are resistant to diseases and pests. These pictures show different types of genetically modified food products.

Image Gallery of Unappetizing Food

From oysters to haggis, some foods are just plain unpleasant to look at. Check out this image gallery of unappetizing foods and be sure to keep a barf bag handy.

5 Foods That Will Survive the Apocalypse

The key to any good apocalypse plan is a stash of foods that are loaded down with additives and preservatives. These five products probably won't survive an atomic blast, true, but you'll be much better off with them than with a crate of broccoli.

10 Things Your Grocer Doesn't Want You to Know

For one thing, the grocery cart has more germs on it than you'd encounter in a public bathroom. And for another, the fresh food may not really be fresh. What else don't they want you to know?

Save vs. Splurge: Grass-fed Beef

Grass-fed beef has been touted as being healthier, tastier, more humane and better for the environment than the cheaper corn-fed variety. But are the claims true, and are the pricier cuts of beef worth splurging on?

Name that Food!

Some foods are easy to recognize on your plate, but what about a microscopic view? Check out this image gallery and try to see how well you know your foods up close and personal.

What is textured vegetable protein -- and is it good for you?

You would think that a simple solution for vegetarians would be to use a meat substitute in their diet that provides the same amount of protein without the use of animals. But is it appetizing -- or even safe to eat?

How long can you leave leftovers in the fridge?

For your next meal, will you be dining on last night's leftovers or munching on moldy meats and fetid vegetables? How can you tell when it's time to throw out the leftovers? Don't trust your nose to tell you.

What is flash steaming?

It's easy enough to peel food at home with hot water and a pan -- but surely the world's canned produce is peeled by some faster means? What is flash steaming, and how fast does it work?

Greenhouse Pictures

Greenhouses have a rich and interesting history. They have been constructed in all shapes and sizes, but they have always served one main purpose -- to grow fresh fruits and vegetables year round.