Convenience foods are prepared food that have been preserved or processed to reduce or eliminate the time of preparation and cooking that may be required. They are answer for the busy home maker who wishes to prepare a meal quickly. Some of these foods are pre cooked and need only to be heated before serving; they are usually sold in packets tin and bottles. Fruits vegetable, meat, fish and cereals are available in convenience form.
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The term convenience is therefore applied to the form in which the food is obtained. Flour, a bottle of pickles are more easily carried home and more easily carried home and more convenient to store than the ingredients in their fresh form.
TYPES OF CONVENIENCE FOODS
- QUICK- FROZEN FOODS: These are food already cleaned, trimmed and then kept in a frozen condition e. g. meat, pies, poultry fish, cutlets, fillets, fish cakes and fish fingers.
- CANNED FOODS: These are foods that have been subjected to some processing and then hermitically sealed in cans e. g. sardines, corn beef, tomato purees, milk etc.
- DEHYDRATED FOODS: These are foods in which the moisture content has been drastically reduced e. g. potato flakes, soups, sauces (sweet and savory) instant tea, coffee and chocolate.
- PACKED FOODS: These are foods in which the moisture content has been drastically usually at the final stage of consumption and need no further cooking e. g. sand-wishes, ready cooked cereals, Cakes and biscuits etc.
USES OF CONVENIENCE FOODS
- Some of them are used as a main dish.
- They are used as flavouring.
- They are used to improve the nutritive quality of the food.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING CONVENIENCE FOOD
- It should suit the occasion intended for.
- Consider the storage facilities available.
- Avoid buying fake products.
- The cost must be considered.
- Check expiry date.
ADVANTAGES OF CONVENIENCE FOODS
- It saves time and energy.
- It is easy to carry about.
- It is a good choice for an inexperienced cook.
- It saves the house wife embarrassment when an unexpected visitor arrives.
- It is available in or out of season.
- It is easy for the house wife to store and handle.
- It makes cooking faster.
DISADVANTAGES OF CONVENIENCE FOODS
- Some of them are very expensive.
- Some of the nutrients may have been destroyed by the processing method.
- What are convenience foods?
- State the uses of convenience foods
- What are the factors to be considered when choosing convenience foods?
Assignment: make a list of 5 convenience foods, check the manufacturing and expiry date and their trade mark names. Record your findings