Food Science and the Food Process Chain

Food is a source of nourishment to people; it is the common man’s way of life and has played an important role in the economy of almost every country. The sheer variety of food available today makes it one of the most important topics in homes, offices, and in the fields of education and research. For this reason, food processing is an important area of science. Food science is the comprehensive science and specifically applied science of food; this encompasses food safety, food processing and food quality, informing development of food technologies.

In the field of nutrition and epidemiology, food scientists have worked hard to improve human health by developing methods of diet and nutrition. They have developed improved ways of keeping the world’s supply of food safe from botulism, salmonella, shigella, e-coli and other microbes that may be present in processed and fast food. They also have developed improved methods of producing quality foods that are economical and safe for consumption. In fact, these food scientists have made significant contributions to nutrition and epidemiology research, determining patterns of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

microbiology and chemistry: the relationship between them is quite complex. Food processing involves many concepts such as handling food at various stages of its growth (i.e. during harvest and during processing) so it is important for food scientists to understand these concepts. Food microbiology studies the properties of microorganisms present in foods to determine if any food diseases may develop. Food chemistry analyzes the interaction of foods at various stages of their processing to determine the nutritional content.

Producing Quality Foods for the Food Industry: this area of food science involves several applications in the food industry. It takes into consideration such factors as water, time, labor and costs of production. The main objective is to increase the quality and economic value of the final product. Although this area of food science can be quite technical, the principles and concepts are easily learned.

Production and Marketing of Quality Foods: food scientists use the knowledge of microbiology and chemistry to create improved products, which can be used to improve the marketability and profitability of a food business. For example, scientists may investigate the production process and quality control of certain farm products. They may find ways to improve the processing techniques so that farmers can reduce wastes and produce high quality products at a lower cost. Chemical analysis and tests help determine if a food product conforms to specifications set by regulatory bodies and safety organizations.

Food processing plants mainly use manual techniques to increase production efficiency. Automatic and integrated machinery and computerized systems make the whole process automated, thus reducing the efforts required. However, food processors continue to use manual practices to improve quality and efficiency of the production process and to increase the palatable food’s quality, taste and variety.