Food processing can be defined as the transformation of raw ingredients into food or of food into other forms. This review summarizes an American Institute for Cancer Research symposium that addressed the question of what is known about food processing in relation to cancer risk. To approach this question, it is valuable to understand something about the evolutionary history of food processing as well as the broad range of commonly utilized industrial/home processing technologies.
John W. Erdman Jr, PhD, is an emeritus faculty member of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Division of Nutritional Sciences and Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He continues to have an active research laboratory focused upon the impact of diet on prostate cancer risk and the role of carotenoids on cancer risk and brain function.
Elizabeth Jeffery, PhD, is an emeritus faculty member of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Division of Nutrition Sciences and the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Urbana. She has an active laboratory researching the health benefits of broccoli and other glucosinolate-containing foods, focused on cancer prevention.
Marc Hendrickx, PhD, is senior professor food technology and faculty member of the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems, Division Center of Food and Microbial Technology at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). His research activities focus on process structure function relations of fruit and vegetable derived food products.
Amanda J. Cross, PhD, is a senior lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the School of Public Health within the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London, England. Her research focuses on diet and lifestyle factors in relation to cancer risk.
Johanna W. Lampe, PhD, RD, is a full member in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a research professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her laboratory studies the effect of dietary constituents on cancer susceptibility in humans and the modifying effects of genetic variation and the gut microbiome on response to diet. Her group uses controlled feeding studies to evaluate cancer-biomarker response to diet and specific phytochemicals.
Presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Cancer Research, Bethesda, Maryland (November 7, 2013).
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: John W. Erdman Jr, PhD, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, 450 Bevier Hall, 905 S Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 (firstname.lastname@example.org).