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How Food is Made? Understanding Food Processing Technologies

Have you ever wondered how your food is processed before it reaches your plate? Find out with this online course


Learn more about processing technologies and the foods that are affected.

Food processing isn’t a new concept, however, many people might not understand how and why it happens. On this course, you will improve your knowledge of food processing technologies and build confidence in the processed foods on the market.

You will cover the history of food processing, from its origins to current modern industrial processes. You will explore the advantages and disadvantages of food processing technologies and understand their impact on health, safety, quality, and sustainability. Upon competing this course, you will feel empowered to make more informed decisions about the food you eat.

(Please note that the term ‘food processing’ is also often used to describe the formulation of food products and the addition of extra ingredients such as preservatives, stabilizers, fortifiers and flavourings. This course focuses on the technologies rather than the formulation.)

Please note this course runs without facilitation. The Educator team won’t be available to answer questions or respond to your comments during this course. However, we encourage you to interact and support each other by posting your thoughts and comments and sharing your knowledge with other learners.


By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Explore the principles of food processing and gain an understanding of both traditional and modern industrial techniques

  • Justify the importance of food processing to society in terms of health, safety, quality and sustainability

  • Engage with the debate on how beneficial certain processing techniques are to human health

  • Evaluate EU law and regulations

  • Reflect on the challenges of feeding growing populations safely and sustainably

Duration & Dates


Audience & Eligibility

Anyone interested in learning more about the food they eat







Registration Open & Seats




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Structure & Modules

Week 1: Why do we process food?

  • What is food processing?
  • Why do we process food?

Week 2: How do we process food?

  • Homogenisation, Pasteurisation, Canning
  • Drying and smoking

Week 3: How is the food industry innovating?

  • Innovative techniques
  • Packaging

Week 4: How does the EU ensure our food is safe, nutritious and sustainable?

  • How and why regulations are made
  • What do UK consumers think about food processing?
  • Do we need food processing?

Programme lead

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Anna-Sophie Stübler

Research associate at DIL