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The Beginnings of Food Processing - 27/08/2008
 
Controlled cooking and food processing distinguish our species, but the origins of these practices still raise historical questions.
Controlled cooking and food processing distinguish our species, but the origins of these practices still raise historical questions. In evolutionary terms, they may be recent, dating not much further than the end of the Neanderthals and the filling in of the North Sea, ‘cutting off’ the continent of Europe.

Milking sheep, goats, and cows probably began in what is now Egypt about 10,000 years ago, the smaller animals with milkers behind the animal and the cows from the side. Traces of fat found on shards of pottery show that dairy products as the result of food processing (eg cheese and fruit yoghurts) had been created by 6500 BC, by farmers working around the Dardanelles and in Turkey, ie 8500 years ago (Times, 7 August 2008).

Fermentative processes have been attributed to nomadic farmers who kept reserves of milk in the stomachs of slaughtered ruminants. The linings of these vessels and the shaking produced rennin.  
 
 

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