Ultra-processed food

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ultra processed food is a classification in the NOVA food classification system. This system was developed by the Brazilian nutrition researcher Carlos Monteiro, with his team at the Center for Epidemiological Research in Nutrition and Health at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. The system looks at food processing not foods types or nutrients -- which are used in most other food categorization systems. NOVA sorts foods into four categories:

  1. Unprocessed or minimally processed foods
  2. Processed culinary ingredients
  3. Processed foods
  4. Ultra processed food and drink products

Almost all food is processed in some way. The term ultra-processing refers to the processing of industrial ingredients derived from foods, for example by extruding, moulding, re-shaping, hydrogenation, and hydrolysis. Ultra-processed foods generally include additives like preservatives, sweeteners, sensory enhancers, colourants, flavours, and processing aids. Infant formula and medical food are also considered ultra-processed. Food additives are not always a marker of ultra-processed foods. Preservatives, for example antioxidant or nitrite, are permitted for category 3.[1]

This classification system is not accepted by everyone.

“Chorleywood” process bread, ready meals, reconstituted meat and almost all breakfast cereals are generally thought to be ultra-processed.

Ultra-processed food is generally cheap, so poor people eat a lot of it.[2]

There is evidence that eating a lot of it increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Nova groups for food processing". world.openfoodfacts.org. Retrieved 2023-09-01.
  2. Hayward, Tim (2023-09-01). "Ultra-processed food furore leaves a woolly taste in the mouth". Financial Times. Retrieved 2023-09-01.
  3. Delpino FM, Figueiredo LM, Bielemann RM, da Silva BGC, Dos Santos FS, Mintem GC, Flores TR, Arcêncio RA, Nunes BP. (2022). "Ultra-processed food and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies". International Journal of Epidemiology. 51 (4): 1120–1141. doi:10.1093/ije/dyab247. PMID 34904160.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)