Food Science

Food Science | Food Science | what is food science, science of food, what is food science and technology, food and science technology, food science and nutrition, food science & technology, j food science, food science university, nutrition and food science, the science of food - Food science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of food, beginning with harvesting or slaughtering, and ending with its cooking and consumption, an ideology commonly referred to as "from field to fork". It is considered one of the life sciences and is usually considered distinct from the field of nutrition.

Food Science is a study of the physical, chemical, and biological properties of foods, in addition to the factors affecting them and their ultimate effects upon the sensory, nutritional, and storage properties and the safety of foods. Food properties are influenced by growing, harvesting, and slaughtering practices, preservation and preparation methods, processing and storage conditions, and packaging. Food science and its applications must be further concerned with economics and marketing; food preferences of various populations; quality assurance and control; regulatory aspects dealing with safety, wholesomeness, and honest representation; and the production of affordable, quality food on a worldwide basis. Therefore, food science interfaces with and draws upon many disciplines, including chemistry, physics, mathematics, the plant and animal sciences, biochemistry, enzymology, microbiology, genetics, engineering, statistics, computer science, nutrition, toxicology, psychology, and law.

Food science deals with many food commodities and thousands of derived products. These commodities are processed for many reasons, including preservation, creation of new product forms, improvement of sensory and nutritional qualities, convenience, and removal of natural toxicants. Common processes are heating, cooling, freezing, concentration, dehydration, fermentation, sometimes irradiation, and packaging. Each process can be further classified by method. Each process utilizes unique equipment that requires optimization of variables to maximize product quality and minimize costs, and is capable of yielding product with distinct characteristics. Further, commodities are increasingly utilized for their constituents which are separated, extracted, chemically and physically modified, and then recombined into an endless variety of formulated and engineered foods that are indistinguishable from their source materials. This often requires the use of highly specific food additives to improve processing properties and acceptance factors, including nutritional quality. Nutrient levels and nutrient availability from foods may be decreased or increased by handling and processing practices.

Food science is also concerned with all aspects of food safety, including natural food toxicants, industrial contaminants, misuse of food additives, and microbiological contamination, as well as methods for the detection, exclusion, inactivation, removal, and regulation of harmful substances.

Food science is a highly interdisciplinary applied science. It incorporates concepts from many different fields including microbiology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry.

The Sub-disciplines of Food Science include:
  • Food safety – the causes, prevention and communication dealing with foodborne illness
  • Food microbiology – the positive and negative interactions between micro-organisms and foods
  • Food preservation – the causes and prevention of quality degradation
  • Food engineering – the industrial processes used to manufacture food
  • Product development – the invention of new food products
  • Sensory analysis – the study of how food is perceived by the consumer's senses
  • Food chemistry – the molecular composition of food and the involvement of these molecules in chemical reactions
  • Food packaging – the study of how packaging is used to preserve food after it has been processed and contain it through distribution.
  • Molecular gastronomy – the scientific investigation of processes in cooking, social & artistic gastronomical phenomena
  • Food technology – the technological aspects
  • Food physics – the physical aspects of foods (such as viscosity, creaminess, and texture)

The main organization in the United States regarding food science and food technology is the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, which is the US member organisation of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST). The European national organisations are organised into the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST), based at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

Activities of food scientists include the development of new food products, design of processes to produce these foods, choice of packaging materials, shelf-life studies, sensory evaluation of the product with trained expert panels or potential consumers, as well as microbiological and chemical testing. Food scientists at universities may study more fundamental phenomena that are directly linked to the production of a particular food product and its properties. In the U.S., food science is typically studied at land-grant universities.

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