Extrusion processing has become an important food process in the manufacture of pasta, ready-to-eat cereals, snacks, pet foods, and textured vegetable protein (TVP). An extruder consists of tightly fitting screw rotating within a stationary barrel. Preground and conditioned ingredients enter the screw where they are conveyed, mixed, and heated by a variety of processes. The product exits the extruder through a die where it usually puffs and changes texture from the release of steam and normal forces. Mathematical models for extruder flow and torque have been found useful in describing exclusion operations. Scale-up can be facilitated by the application of these models. A variety of food extruder designs have developed. The differences and similarity of design are discussed. Pertinent literature on the extrusion of cereal/snack products, full-fat soy, TVP, pet foods (dry and semi-moist), pasta, and beverage or other food bases are discussed. In many of these applications, the extruder is a high temperature, short time process which minimizes losses in vitamins and amino acids. Color, flavor, and product shape and texture are also affected by the extrusion process. Extrusion has been widely applied in the production of nutritious foods. Emphasis is placed on the use of extrusion to denature antinutritional factors and the improvement of protein quality and digestibility.