Food Technology - The Future of Food Technology - Food must be of the nature and substance expected by the consumer, especially in the content of nutrients. Food technologists carry this burden of responsibility; they must be constantly aware of potential nutritional consequences of their actions.
Except where man uses foodstuffs produced for his own use, food technology (as the technology involved in conveying food from land and water to man) embraces one, or a combination of, the following operations: preparations, processing, storage, packaging, transportation. This holds equally for food that goes from farmer or fisherman to market, as for the produce that is stored or cold-stored before marketing, preserving, processing, or combining with other foods in manufacture. Food technology thus embraces the farm and large-scale storage of cereal grain and produce desired as food for man. The food technologist practices his profession within a legal framework that normally encompasses all foods offered for sale.
Legislation has the prime objective of protecting thee consumer from deception and fraud. Food must not offer a health hazard and must be s nutritious as it purports to be. Food technologists thus became involved in the framing of food legislation, as well as in the policy of food processing practices.
Food law enforcement demands effective food inspection services supported by adequate analytical laboratories. The employment of food technologists in senior positions makes valuable contributions to the operation of food ispection service.
In the industrial countries, the achievements of agriculture and food technology, in combination with an awareness of the link between nutrition and health, have largely eliminated the classical deficiency diseases. Advances in medicine and sanitary practices have been contributing factors. It is believed that with an increase in the standard of living in the developing nations, the wider application of food technology wiill produce similar effects.
In developing countries a high proportion of the population lives on the land or in small communities. At the same time the cities are large and growing. It is believed that (1) the rural population’s diet will change but slowly, (2) each country aims at living on the food it produces, and (3) the number of people living on the land will not diminish in the foreseeable future or may even in crease in spite of growing city populations. The rural populations can substantially benefit from food technology in three ways: (1) production of infant food from indigenous raw materials to combat inant mortality and improve the nutritional status of the very young, (2) improved techniques of food management in storage, transportation and distribution, (3) improve technology of traditional foods prosessed by drying, salting, smoking, and fermentation.
To bring about these improvements, there is need for basic research as well as applied research and development in the contries or regions by their own people. This approach holds high promise to reduce food losses thus improving at economical prices. Progress in this direction has so far been unsatisfactory because of the wide-spread reluctance to change traditional practices of food management. Such advances in food technology, to have desired effects, must be accompanied by rising standards of sanitation and hygiene in order to achieve the quality of life to which we all aspire.