Food scientists and technologists use chemistry, biology, and other sciences to study the basic elements of food. They analyze the nutritional content of foods, discover new food sources, and research ways to make processed foods safe and healthy. A food scientist studies the deterioration and processing of food using microbiology, engineering, and chemistry. They determine the levels of nutrients in foods by analyzing their content.
They are looking for new nutritional sources of food and investigating ways to make processed foods taste good, safe and healthy. They also find the best way to distribute, process, preserve and package food. Food scientists study, research, create, or improve foods and food processes to ensure public safety. Read on to learn what a food scientist does and how to enter this field.
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 preventing 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 field of food safety is developing fast and highly sensitive techniques to identify the 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 spoilage. The key to controlling spoilage is to kill as many bacteria as we can without also harming 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 to determine how to process the product so that it has a sufficient shelf life. As far as product developers are concerned, food engineers develop the concepts that processors use to convert raw materials into safe and durable food. In the development of menus, engineers may not play a direct role, but processors do. The way an ingredient is processed can have a dramatic effect on the taste, 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 pasteurization 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 taste, 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 thermal processing with harmful effects on the nutritional quality of food, 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 on every channel that consumers purchase food and beverages (convenience stores, grocery retailers, restaurants and non-commercial food services) through media, events, data products, consulting services and trade shows. Food scientists apply scientific experience and technological principles to the study of food products and processes in manufacturing and research environments. Consumer-driven demand for safe, nutritious and practical food products has created increased opportunities for scientists specializing in food.
Employers of food scientists include food manufacturing and retail companies, universities, government organizations, and specialized research associations. It is possible for a person who has finished school to enter this area by becoming an apprentice food technologist, although there are currently only a few opportunities available. To become a food scientist, you'll most likely have to study for a degree, unless your internship involves working toward a college level qualification. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, focusing on diet, health and food safety can create more job opportunities for food scientists.
Food science is a multidisciplinary programmatic field that applies chemistry, microbiology, engineering and nutrition to develop new food products and processes in order to improve food safety and quality in order to improve food safety and quality. It will also analyze foods to determine the amount of nutrients, sugars, vitamins and fats they contain so that manufacturers can label them correctly. This growth, as fast as average, could be due to the need to increase the quantity and quality of food for an expanding population, as well as to greater public awareness of healthy eating habits. Whatever you decide, these degrees usually include chemistry, microbiology and engineering courses to discuss the principles of food deterioration and processing and the vitamin, protein, sugar, and fat content of foods.
As a scientist specializing in food processing, you'll work on techniques such as canning, drying, evaporation, blanching, baking and pasteurization. There are also a number of professional associations and organizations in the food sector to encourage networking and professional growth. In the food processing industry, you'll need a bachelor's degree in food science, agricultural science, or a similar specialization. Rajseri Raghunath, a student at MSU, wants to shape food policy and help make food labels accessible to all.
If you dedicate yourself to research, you will discover and experiment with different food storage methods and food additives, depending on your task. All foods are biochemical because, in most cases, foods or their raw ingredients are or were living entities. Completing a degree in Food Science is usually your minimum requirement for entry-level food scientist positions. .