The Importance of Food Processing and Eating Behavior in Promoting Healthy and Sustainable Diets

Ciarán G. Forde*, Eric A. Decker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous association studies and findings from a controlled feeding trial have led to the suggestion that "processed"foods are bad for health. Processing technologies and food formulation are essential for food preservation and provide access to safe, nutritious, affordable, appealing and sustainable foods for millions globally. However, food processing at any level can also cause negative health consequences that result from thermal destruction of vitamins; formation of toxins such as acrylamide; or excessive intakes of salt, sugar, and fat. Research on ultraprocessed foods centers on food composition and formulation. In addition, many modern food formulations can have poor nutritional quality and higher energy density. We outline the role of processing in the provision of a safe and secure food supply and explore the characteristics of processed foods that promote greater energy intake. Despite the potential for negative health effects, food processing and formulation represent an opportunity to apply the latest developments in technology and ingredient innovation to improve the food supply by creating foods that decrease the risk of overeating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-399
JournalAnnual review of nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022


  • eating behaviour
  • food processing
  • health
  • nutrition
  • sensory
  • sustainability


Dive into the research topics of 'The Importance of Food Processing and Eating Behavior in Promoting Healthy and Sustainable Diets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this