6 Areas of Food Science Explained

Food technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution and use of safe foods. Related fields include analytical chemistry, biotechnology, engineering, nutrition, quality control and food safety management. Food science is a broad field that encompasses many different disciplines, from microbiology to nutrition to engineering. In this article, we'll explore the six main areas of food science and how they are used in product development. Food microbiology is one of the most important fields of food science when it comes to product development.

It focuses on bacteria, molds, yeasts and viruses and how they interact with food. Areas of particular importance for product development are food safety and quality. Food safety is concerned with preventing pathogens in food. It is almost impossible to eliminate microorganisms from any food, but many steps can be taken to slow their growth or inactivate them.

What food science is doing in terms of food safety is developing highly sensitive and rapid techniques to identify pathogenic microorganisms and the toxins they produce in foods, and to develop packages and processes that inhibit their growth and reduce their survival rate. Not all microorganisms are harmful, but some cause food spoilage. The key to controlling spoilage is to kill as many bacteria as we can without also killing the quality of the food in which they reside. Food engineers develop the concepts that processors use to convert raw materials into safe and durable food. Consider high-pressure processing (HPP) and its effect on the fresh fruit and vegetable juice industry.

HPP is a non-thermal or “cold” pasteurization process developed to allow the production of fruit and vegetable juices without any of the harmful effects of heat treatments, such as changes in flavor, texture or color. Nutritionists often associate thermal processing with detrimental effects on the nutritional quality of foods, but not always. Recent work at Cornell University showed that heating tomatoes raises the level of a phytochemical called lycopene that fights cancer. When designing a development plan for a new product, it is essential to consider the microbial quality of each component and how that may affect the overall quality of the product, and to determine how to process the product so that it has a sufficient shelf life. Foodomics greatly helps scientists in an area of food science and nutrition gain better access to data, which is used to analyze the effects of food on human health. Food chemistry is the study of the chemical processes and interactions of all biological and non-biological components of food.

This is widely used with nutrition labels in the small nutritional facts of each food product. Sensory science uses people to describe and evaluate the flavors, textures, appearance, and other attributes of food. Winsight is a leading B2B information services company focused on the food and beverage industry, providing market information and intelligence to business leaders in every channel where consumers buy food and beverages (convenience stores, grocery retailers, restaurants and services).In conclusion, food science is a broad field that encompasses many different disciplines from microbiology to nutrition to engineering. It plays an important role in product development by helping processors convert raw materials into safe and durable foods. Food scientists also help develop concepts for menu development by understanding how ingredients are processed can have a dramatic effect on flavor, color, safety and shelf life.

Eloise Marchiano
Eloise Marchiano

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