There are various methods used in the processing of food both the modern and traditional food processing methods. One of the most common traditional food processing method is the artisanal food processing by skilled craftsmen. 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 usually made from the locally available food products hence no need to source them from other areas. 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.
Making artisan foods usually takes a long period of time since all processes followed depends on hand processes making food to mature over time hence retaining their flavors. This makes the artisan foods to have a high nutrition value 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. Supermarkets and fast food stores can also have artisan foods available to consumers in some regions.
During the processing of artisan foods by craftsmen, there are legislation and safety precautions that have to be followed to ensure that the food produced are safe for human consumption. 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. Food safety can also be enhanced by ensuring that the working environment is always clean and free from pests that are 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.
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. Artisan foods produced locally are produced using organic techniques without the use of pesticides hence there is no worry of pesticide residue to consumers. Food production, processing, and consumption of the artisan foods help in the recycling of incomes amongst the different actors of the economy hence enhancing the growth of local communities economy.