What are the Benefits of Food Technology and some of the barriers and drawbacks? Post-harvest handling can involve a simple technology, which may be adapted in rural areas as well as advanced technologies.
A simple post-harvest technology such as sun drying can reduce the level of damage and at the same time increase the added value of the commodity. Fresh agricultural materials such as mushrooms, asparagus, and several other vegetables only last a few days, whereas when dried, their shelf life increases to several months.
Based on the foregoing, food technology is very useful in the food industry which continues to develop. Some of the benefits of food technology are:
- Extend the time and amount of food availability.
- Simplify storage and distribution.
- Increasing economic value added in the form of profit (profits) as well as social value added in the form of more job vacancies.
- Obtain agricultural products that are more attractive, for example: appearance, taste, and other physical characteristics.
- Availability of agricultural waste materials which may still be used to produce other materials, such as bagasse as a material for making paper, hardboard; banana and orange peels which can be used as a source of pectin, and others.
- Encouraging the increase of non-agricultural industries that support the agricultural industry, such as the chemical industry, glass, packaging materials, and others.
Fruits and vegetables are a source of vitamins and minerals for the human body. According to research, nearly 35% of this material is damaged during harvesting, handling and distribution. The industrialization of agricultural products still faces several obstacles, including:
- The production of raw materials is scattered, so that this material collection effort will increase production costs. For example: mangoes that are found in many areas of East Java are not located in just one area. Farmers only have a few mango trees that are not well maintained in their yard.
- There are various varieties in which the mixing of these fruit varieties will affect the quality of the product. In Indonesia there are more than 250 banana varieties on the market.
- There is still a lack of supporting industries such as the can industry, preservatives, packaging, and others.
- There is still no formation of a good marketing system, etc.
Therefore, it is unfortunate that efforts to increase food production to support non-oil and gas exports are still not successful because there is still a lack of attention to post-harvest handling problems.
Foodstuff / food technology science which is closely related to engineering science can be applied in the efforts of preservation and processing of foodstuffs, because foodstuffs are not always consumed in their fresh form but also in their processed form. Preservation aims to extend the shelf life, while the purpose of processing is to change the form of foodstuffs so that they produce various forms and also extend their shelf life. With processing, it is hoped that agricultural products will obtain much greater added value.
The existence of food technology greatly affects food availability. Nature produces food on a regular basis, while human need for food is routine. It is impossible for us to postpone our physical needs until the harvest comes. Therefore, preservation technology was created so that food could be stored for a long period of time.
Preservation techniques also make it possible to distribute food ingredients evenly throughout the world. In the past, people in Asia could not enjoy European food. But now because of food technology every nation can enjoy the specialties of other nations.
There are several technical ways of processing and preserving food, namely: cooling, drying, canning, packaging, use of chemicals, use of additives (additives) and heating.
The drying process is a food process that is first carried out to preserve food. In addition to preserving perishable or rotten food ingredients in storage conditions before use, drying food also lowers costs and reduces difficulties in packaging, handling, transportation and storage, because by drying the materials it becomes solid and dry, so that the volume of materials is more concise, easy and save space in transportation, packaging and storage. In addition, many foodstuffs are consumed only after drying, such as tea, coffee, chocolate and several types of grains.
In addition to having many benefits for human life, it also has shortcomings in the balance of nature, namely the use of technology on agricultural land with the use of pest control poisons that can kill livestock and poison crops, which in turn poison humans themselves.
That is the description of The Benefits of Food Technology and some of the obstacles and weaknesses of food technology