What are the three areas of food science?

Basically, the study of how microorganisms interact with food, food microbiology focuses on bacteria, molds, yeasts and viruses. The areas of special importance for product development are food safety and quality. Food safety is concerned with the prevention of pathogens in food. It's 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 the area of food safety is to develop very sensitive and rapid techniques to identify pathogenic microorganisms and the toxins they produce in food, and to develop packaging and processes that inhibit their growth and reduce their survival rate. Not all microorganisms are harmful, but some cause food to deteriorate. The key to controlling deterioration is to kill as many bacteria as we can without also killing the quality of the food in which they reside. Food microbiology is one of the most important fields of food science when it comes to product development, especially in this era of litigation.

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 determine how to process the product so that it has a sufficient shelf life. When it comes to product developers, food engineers develop the concepts that processors use to convert raw materials into safe, durable foods. In menu development, engineers may not play a direct role, but processors do. The way an ingredient is processed can have a dramatic effect on the flavor, color, safety and shelf life of foods.

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. The nutritional profile of juices is not altered by the process, so there is no need to fortify them. Nutritionists often associate heat processing with detrimental effects on the nutritional quality of foods, but not always.

Recent work at Cornell University showed that heating tomatoes increases the level of a cancer-fighting phytochemical called lycopene. Winsight is a leading B2B information services company focused on the food and beverage industry, providing information and market intelligence to business leaders from all channels where consumers purchase food and beverages (convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants and non-commercial food services) through media, events, data products, advisory services and trade shows. Food science brings together multiple scientific disciplines. It incorporates concepts from fields such as chemistry, physics, physiology, microbiology and biochemistry.

Food technology incorporates concepts from chemical engineering, for example. The multidisciplinary field of food science allows us to have safer, more resistant to storage, nutritious and better tasting food products. These improvements are possible thanks to the combined efforts of scientists from various disciplines. Food science is a multidisciplinary programmatic field that applies chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and nutrition to develop new food products and processes to improve food safety and quality.

The degree in food science is internationally recognized and is approved by the Institute of Food Technologists. Many students participate in internships at food companies and related industries. Students can receive course credit for internships and, at the same time, gain invaluable professional experience. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition also has many scholarships available.

In addition to the core areas, students select at least one area of interdisciplinary concentration or emphasis to personalize the program based on individual interests. Learn more about Food Science requirements and courses. See the career outcomes of MSU food science graduates, including salaries, major employers and places of employment. The food industry offers a network of careers related to supply, consumption, production, research and development, processing, safety and packaging.

Food science graduates work for a variety of companies, industries, government agencies, and academic sectors. Faculty and advisors maintain close relationships with partners in the food industry, who can help with internships, scholarships, and jobs in food-related fields. There are also a number of professional associations and organizations in the food sector for greater networking and professional growth. MSU student Rajshi Raghunath wants to shape food policy and help make food labels accessible to all.

Lichchavi Dan Rajasinghe, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at MSU, has received multiple acclaim for identifying a safe and effective way to treat lupus. In addition to student jobs and internships, there are opportunities for education abroad and undergraduate research. MSU is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to achieve their full potential. We comply with the Federal Trade Commission's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) 1998.Food science draws on many disciplines, including biology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry, to better understand food processes and improve food products for the general public.

As field managers, food scientists study the physical, microbial, and chemical composition of foods. They apply their findings to develop the safe, nutritious and sustainable foods and innovative packaging found on supermarket shelves today. Food Science is a practical name used to describe the application of scientific principles to create and maintain a healthy food supply. .

Food research is the careful and systematic study, research and collection of information on foods and their components. Food microbiology is the study of microorganisms that inhabit, create, or contaminate food, including the study of microorganisms that cause food spoilage. Sensory science uses people to describe and evaluate the flavors, textures, appearance, and other attributes of foods. Nutritional genomics is a relatively new scientific field that applies high-performance genomics, such as transectomics (the study of the complete set of RNA), proteomics (proteins) and metabolomics (metabolites) to improve nutrition sciences and food technology.

To help consumers make informed decisions about the food they consume, IFT has developed IFT Food Facts to provide consumers with news that they can use in their daily lives. The physical chemistry of food is the study of physical and chemical interactions in foods in terms of physical and chemical principles applied to food systems, as well as the application of physicochemical techniques and instrumentation for the study and analysis of foods. Food microbiology is beneficial both for improving product design and for maintaining the safety of food products. Consumers are also getting educated in this area and, over time, will expect the same health benefits from the foods they eat away from home as those they get at home.

In the past, genomics was used in the agricultural sector to manipulate plant biosynthetic pathways to produce the desired characteristics of plant food ingredients. Food science encompasses food science, food technologies and their applications in the food industry. To create and maintain a safe, abundant and healthy food supply, food science applies the basic principles of science and engineering. The Korean Society for Food Science and Technology, or KosFost, claims to be South Korea's first food science society.


Sally Koepke
Sally Koepke

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