Processing food has become a big deal, and with a growing number of countries banning or restricting the practice, scientists are exploring how the process can contribute to the development of cancer.
But there are concerns that the process may be even more dangerous than we realise.
We spoke to scientists from around the world who have been studying how processed food can cause cancer.
Reporter: For many years, the scientific community has focused on the role of the stomach lining in digesting food.
But the gut lining is not the only part of the body that can produce acids, including bile.
Some scientists say that the stomach can actually produce other chemicals that are particularly harmful to cancer cells, including prostaglandins.
Some studies have shown that processed food is particularly harmful because it contains chemicals called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).
The polyunsaturates are a group of compounds called omega-6 and omega-3 fats.
In the gut, they are known as omega-7 and omega–6.
The polysaturated fatty acid that is in processed foods has the effect of making cancer cells more vulnerable to the chemicals in those fats.
These chemicals, when ingested by the body, are also called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
The main reason is because they are able to react with proteins in the body.
PAHs are found in foods like processed meats, dairy, eggs, nuts and vegetables.
They are also found in breast milk, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.
It is also known that the chemicals can be passed from one generation to the next.
It seems likely that in our bodies, there are molecules that react with some of these fats and these molecules can be present in some processed foods, and these reactions can cause a cancerous growth in cells.
What is the body doing in the process of cooking the food?
A lot of people who consume processed foods may think they are consuming food that is healthy.
However, there is a lot of research suggesting that processed foods are bad for us.
They can cause chronic inflammation, which can lead people to have a condition called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and can also lead to autoimmune diseases.
It also appears that some processed food may have an impact on our ability to regulate our immune system.
The foods that we eat may also have a high level of nutrients in them.
The more nutrients that we have in our diets, the less we can regulate the immune system, and that’s why the food can affect the health of the people eating it.
What are the chemicals that have been found in processed food?
It’s very difficult to know what chemicals are in processed meats and dairy, and they’re not the same as in milk, eggs or fruit.
There are many different types of fats in these products.
Some of the main types of fat in processed meat and dairy products include: trans fatty acids, such as butyric acid, which are found mainly in processed fish and shellfish; saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, such the lard and vegetable oils found in butter and lard products; trans fats, which include those found in margarine, butter, lard, bacon, sausages and sausaged and processed meat products; and monosaturated fatty compounds, such monounsylasat and monomethyl-butyl-alpha-linolenic acid (MCHALA).
These compounds are found primarily in vegetable oils.
What about the impact of these chemicals on cancer cells?
One of the big concerns is that the food we eat can also be passing these chemicals around to our bodies through our saliva, and it can also get into the blood stream.
This could be a big problem for those who have cancer.
For example, cancer cells are able in the liver to produce the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which breaks down some of the toxic compounds that are in the food.
There is also the question of whether these substances may contribute to a buildup of cancer cells in the blood.
Researchers have looked at whether certain types of PAH-containing foods are more harmful than others to cancerous cells.
A number of studies have found that certain types are more toxic to cancer than others.
For instance, a study in mice found that trans fatty acid monounshellic acid was more toxic than the other fatty acids.
Some researchers also have looked into whether certain foods are even more harmful to cells than others, and found that the processed meat industry has a lot to answer for.
For some people, it can be a very good thing to have the option of eating some of this food.
For others, it’s not.
But for the people who eat the most processed foods in their diets, this is a problem.
They may be able to eat some of it but they will still be vulnerable to this problem