Almost all of us are conversant with the term processed food, and even when we don’t know its true meaning, we’ve somehow instinctively learnt to associate it with the “negative”.
But what does processed food actually mean? And would pizza categorized as one?
What is processed food?
Processed foods are typically foods that are prepared, packaged and ready to eat or are very easy to make into palatable foods. They are also known as convenience foods, or foods that have been processed at the tertiary level.
Unlike primary food processing which is necessary in order to transform agricultural products such as raw kennels into flour or animals into meat, and secondary processing which is necessary to convert these primary products into palatable foods, tertiary processing doesn’t actually play a crucial and indispensable role in the processing chain, as most of the time, the focus is on making a final product that eliminates the need for a consumer to engage in the secondary processing of the food in question or improving the ease of turning a food at the secondary processing level into a final product.
In essence therefore, and in this day and age, processed foods simply means “someone doing the work of secondary processing” for you.
Take for instance bottled soy milk that exists in different varieties, flavors and brands, and is marketed to the general public as a good.
Such a product makes it possible for a consumer to enjoy soy milk at home without having to go through the tedious process of cooking and extracting the milk from the soy beans themself.
The same is a case for packaged or frozen fries, peanuts, beverages, snacks, etc. All these are made in order to eliminate the need for a consumer to prepare the food themselves.
Because process food at typically made in very large batches and are marketed to a host of consumers wheather local or international, there is the need to embed them with certain ingredients or addictives in order to help preserve them during this transit as well boost their lifetime on the shelves. As a result, processed food are typically associated with food additives and preservatives.
What type of pizza is processed?
If we’re going to have a thorough discussion on the types of pizza that classify as processed, then almost all the pizzas you source from outside your home will fall into that category, but one will certainly stand out among the rest, and it’s the frozen pizza.
See, most of the pizzas you purchase at popular pizzerias, pizza joints, restaurants or bakeries can be processed to some extend i.e fortified with a rationed amounts of addictive and preservatives in order to affect flavor, taste, and shelf life, or may be not, in the case of really small pizza joints that really don’t care about how their pizzas taste in comparison to their competition.
But their level of processing is definitely not as significant compared to that of frozen pizzas which are initially intended to serve as “processed” or “convenient” foods in the first place.
Frozen pizzas are prepared, packaged and then frozen. They are meant to serve as a quick meal or a quick way to enjoy pizza at home without having to go through the process of making the dough, preparing the toppings and baking from scratch.
Because of this nature of theirs, frozen pizzas are mostly loaded with addictives and preservatives in order to keep them “alive” and at optimal condition for as long as the expiry date dictates.
Is pizza flour processed?
All flours are based at the secondary processing level, meaning that they have undergone some form of processing from their natural state of grain, root, beans, nuts or seeds.
This could be going from corn to maize flour, millet grain to millet flour or bean to bean flour.
And the kind of processing discussed here isn’t synonymous to the processing that occurs at the tetairy level as we’ve mentioned above.
In this case, the processing is necessary in order to obtain a secondary product that can be used to achieve an end procust like pizza.
Are there negative effects of eating processed foods like pizza?
There’s nothing wrong with making ready-to-eat food for consumers. Restaurants and food joints are a classical example of what convinience is; having to walk up to a counter and place an order for whatever you want without having to prepare it by yourself.
Restaurant and joint meals also arent regarded as “convenience foods” or “processed foods” because they’re not typically made in heavy batches days ahead of time and then preprered upon request.
Rather, they are made and refrigerated hours before hand or even at the very instance when a consumer places an order. And because of that, restaurant and joint foods are straight out fresh, even though they may still have special ingredients added to the food to affect how it looks or tastes.
But “ready to eat” is only one part of the equation in the definition of a processed food. The other part talks about packaging and marketing to local or even international consumers.
When you have this going on now, then there has to be ingredients in the food to allow it to keep for a very long time and be able to stay fresh and also withstand extended transit or wait period.
And this is where the problem lies. Some of these artificial ingredients and preservatives are not exactly the healthiest things you should be ingesting.
Many of these ingredients that are added to affect color, texture, flavor and smell of food have not even been the subject of research for an extended period of time to really conclude on their safety in the human body.
And some like preservatives are present in high amounts that can lead to health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
With that said, it’s still very important to point out that not all processed foods are actually loaded with an alarming amount of artificial ingredients and preservatives. With proper moderation in the way you consume them, processed foods should still be a great way to diversify the way you outsource nutrients.
Is dominos pizza processed?
Domino’s Pizza is definitely processed because when you go through the ingredient sheet, you’ll discover that artificial ingredients and preservatives are added during production in order to affect the texture, look, taste, color, and smell of the crust, topping and sauces.
Essentially, these extra additions are what makes Dominos — Dominos, and basically conjoin up the fine line between Dominos and their competitiors.
But if you’re talking about processed in the sense that the “pizzas are made days before hand and kept alive purposely using preservatives and artificial ingredients”. Which would rephrase the wuention into the folowing manner “are dominos pizzas convinience foods?
Then no! They’re not.
The doughs in dominos are already made before hand, but only hours or no more than a day before, and are kept as large stock. The toppings are also prepraed, potioned and positioned in such a way that dispensing or addition them to the dough becomes very easy. So everything about prepping the dough to addition of toppings happens very quckly.
When the pizza is to be taken out for delivery, it is packaged and handed over to the logistic team, and if a customer intends to pick up the pizza, the baked pizza is placed on a heat rack untill the customer arrives.
Preservatives you may find added in Dominos are there to extend its shell life with the consumer.
Does pizza hut serve processed pizza?
Pizza Hut pizza are also packed with some addictives that are meant to affect flavor and eating experience. Basically the “special sauce” that seperated them from their competition.
But bear at the back of your mind that addictives are not always a negative thing. Some addictives have been proven through research to have no effect to the human body when ingested, and some like Guar gum and artificial sweetners can even have potential health benefits.
What are some examples of highly processed foods?
Some examples of processed foods include:
- Frozen Pizza
- Imitation crab
- Canned fruits
- Soft drinks
- Microwave meals
While some foods are processed, others are ultra processed, meaning that they are super processed and have loads of alteration going on.
They mostly have their nutrients beaten down form their natural state, and are loaded with additives to a level that is not exactly healthy to the body.
These types of foods include ice cream, chocolate, packaged soup, hot dog, sausage etc.
If anything, these are foods you should be careful with careful with and avoid pounding on them uncontrollably.