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What is Food Science?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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Food science is a very broad research field, incorporating studies on food composition, processing, safety, nutrition, cooking, and consumption. Scientists may work in a variety of different settings, depending on their specialties. The majority of food science research occurs in university laboratories and research and development institutions, where experts investigate the composition of foods and determine their nutritional values. Food science experts may also work as quality control specialists or health investigators with the government.

Much of food science is dedicated to understanding the chemistry and microbiology behind different foods. Scientists attempt to break down foods into their most basic component parts, compounds such as starches, fats, and carbohydrates. Chemists and microbiologists analyze the structure and chemical function of these compounds to determine their importance in food composition and the effects they may have on human digestion. Many experts experiment with probiotics and living cultures to better understand their significance in the creation of food products. Scientists often study the biology and chemistry behind dangerous foodborne pathogens, and experiment with different methods of removing harmful bacteria and viruses from food products.

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Food preparation, processing, packaging, and storing are thoroughly researched by food scientists to ensure safety of and prolong its shelf life. Scientists might engage in research about new preservatives or packaging techniques to keep food from spoiling. They may also try to process or store food at different temperatures to determine the best way to maintain safety and quality. Dedicated food scientists have had many breakthroughs in processing and storing technology, such as pasteurization of dairy products and freeze-drying goods.

Engineers in food science design new and more efficient processing equipment. These professionals often focus on increasing the level of automation in machinery to ease the load on workers. Engineers design computer equipment to monitor processing and detect the presence of harmful bacteria. As automatic machinery becomes more popular in processing plants, food scientists typically spend more time interpreting data from computer programs and less time physically manipulating food in its manufacture.

Food science professionals may work for government agencies or parent companies within the food industry to perform routine health inspections and quality control at processing plants. Quality control personnel select samples of processed goods and perform various tests to make sure they are safe for distribution to the public. Scientists may test the chemical composition of finished products, set expiration dates, and perform taste tests. The safety and quality of groceries that consumers buy is dependent on the work performed by skilled food science experts at all levels of production.

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ronburg44
Post 4

I think people overreact to the concept of food science. Science can be as simple as mixing two greens together. Recently there's been a popular television series on the food channel in which the chef is actually a scientist.

Because of this approach to food cooking consumption is done with a scientific mindset, we can understand even the basic cubical reactions that happened we next to fix. A good example of this is the use of yeast inside of dough to bake bread.

Understanding the way the yeast interacts with the sugars any oxygen and especially the temperature at which the dough is being mixed into is critical for baking quality bread that is both nutritional and effective in the use of its ingredients.

spreadsheet
Post 3

As a purveyor of organic foods, the thought of science and food mixing is disgusting. These two subjects should stay far away from each other and have no bearing against what we are putting inside of our body.

Is the genetically modified organisms that cause the specific concern. By tampering with God's gifts of nature and the fruit that nourishes our bellies, we are asking for trouble down the road. There is no surprise in my mind why we have such high rates of cancer in the past century.

Have we truly done enough research in these food science programs to identify all the potentially harmful substances any modifications that we are making to the food that we. Perhaps it is a good idea to continue with food science education and research, but I think that there needs to be some regulation as far as what we do to the organisms that we consume.

dkarnowski
Post 2

The study of food science has created an excellent source of information for people looking to be healthy. Food science information is what provides us with things like calorie counts, nutritional facts an ingredient lists.

Along with food science, there has been the development of food science biotechnology. By biologically engineering food crops, we have been able to develop our agricultural industry to better serve the needs of human mouth.

By growing larger vegetables with less water and less fertilizer, we have been able to feed more people in all of this is thanks to food science programs.

NightChef
Post 1

Food science and food science technology, is the combination of my two favorite things in the world. By taking a scientific approach to the way that food is grown, created and consumed, we can make smarter decisions about what we ingest inside of our bodies.

Because of food science, we now have products available the market that helps people become more healthy and lead longer lives. A good example of this is the use of science to create sweeteners you do not have the carbohydrate or calorie count that natural sugar has.

While there has been some discrepancy in the safety of the sweeteners, is then determined that many of them are safe for human consumption. For many

decades it was a concern that saccharine, the popular sweetener used in Tab cola, was actually causing cancer in people.

Since then better studies have come to light we now realize that while there are some risks in using artificial sweeteners, the majority of them that are on the market are safe for our own consumption.

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