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Early food processing techniques were limited by the available food preservation, packaging and transportation. Early food processing mainly involved salting, curing, curdling, drying, pickling and smoking. An example of an early processed food product is cheese.
During the industrialisation era in the 19th century, food manufacturing arose. This development took advantage of new mass markets and emerging new technology, such as milling, preservation, packaging and labelling and transportation. It brought the advantages of prepared time-saving food to the bulk of ordinary people who did not employ domestic servants.
At the start of the 21st century, a two-tier structure has arisen, with a few international food processing giants controlling a wide range of well-known food brands, and a populous number of small local or national food processing companies.
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