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Module 1: Factors that affect food selection

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Health and Human Development - Food development

Food development

Supermarkets require foods that have a long shelf life, tamper-proof
packaging and are attractive to the consumer.

In the development of such foods, manufacturers reduced the bulk from
foods by removing the dietary fibre, changed the nutrient composition of
foods (by the removal or addition of nutrients such as vitamins and
minerals) or increased the fat and sugar content. Additives that prolong
shelf life or improve the appearance and taste of food are also used.

As supermarkets increased in size they moved out of the suburban shopping
strips to vantage points on main roads.

This means most people require a car to use these centres. Supermarkets do
not provide the individual attention some people require. Many older people
in the community are disadvantaged by the distance they have to travel and
the process of selecting foods, although most supermarkets provide a home
delivery service.

Food labelling provides information about the ingredients used in the
product, nutritional content and other information necessary to use the
contents appropriately. Well labelled packages enable the consumer to
select food on the basis of its nutritional content or avoid food which is
not nutritionally appropriate. Labels often depict foods as a home made
product, e.g. 'old fashioned custard'. Older people used to custard made
from milk and eggs may believe they are choosing a nutritionally adequate
food whereas the product may be made from a variety of ingredients with
little milk and no eggs.

Recent changes in food labelling laws prohibit the use of terminology on
labels that can be confusing, e.g. olive oil marked 'light' must now state
that it is light in colour or flavour so that the consumer will not be
confused into thinking the oil is light in fat content.

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