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Food technology

(part of) The food technology building of Wageningen University.
The food technology room at Marling School in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Food technology, or Food tech for short is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe, nutritious, and wholesome food.

Food scientists and food technologists study the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of food. Depending on their area of specialization, food scientists may develop ways to process, preserve, package, or store food, according to industry and government specifications and regulations. Consumers seldom think[citation needed] of the vast array of foods and the research and development that has resulted in the means to deliver tasty, nutritious, safe, and convenient foods.

In some schools, food technology is part of the curriculum and teaches, alongside how to cook, nutrition and the food manufacturing process.

Contents

[edit] Early history of food technology

Research in the field now known as food technology has been conducted for decades. Nicolas Appert’s development in 1810 of the canning process was a decisive event. The process wasn’t called canning then and Appert did not really know the principle on which his process worked, but canning has had a major impact on food preservation techniques.

Louis Pasteur's research on the spoilage of wine and his description of how to avoid spoilage in 1864 was an early attempt to put food technology on a scientific basis. Besides research into wine spoilage, Pasteur did research on the production of alcohol, vinegar, wines and beer, and the souring of milk. He developed pasteurization—the process of heating milk and milk products to destroy food spoilage and disease-producing organisms. In his research into food technology, Pasteur became the pioneer into bacteriology and of modern preventive medicine.

By 1940's to 1950's, the original four departments that had taught the subject under different names (including those at the University of Massachusetts and the University of California) had been retitled "food science", "food science and technology", or a similar variant.

[edit] Developments in food technology

Several companies in the food industry have played a role in the development of food technology. These developments have contributed greatly to the food supply. Some of these developments are:

  • Instantized Milk Powder - D.D. Peebles (U.S. patent 2,835,586) developed the first instant milk powder, which has become the basis for a variety of new products that are rehydratable in cold water or milk. This process increases the surface area of the powdered product by partially rehydrating spray-dried milk powder.
  • Freeze Drying - The first application of freeze drying was most likely in the pharmaceutical industry; however, a successful large-scale industrial application of the process was the development of continuous freeze drying of coffee.
  • High-Temperature Short Time Processing - These processes for the most part are characterized by rapid heating and cooling, holding for a short time at a relatively high temperature and filling aseptically into sterile containers.
  • Decaffeination of Coffee and Tea - Decaffeinated coffee and tea was first developed on a commercial basis in Europe around 1900. The process is described in U.S. patent 897,763. Green coffee beans are treated with steam or water to around 20% moisture. The added water and heat separate the caffeine from the bean to its surface. Solvents are then used to remove the caffeine from the beans. In the 1980s, new non-organic solvent techniques have been developed for the decaffeination of coffee and tea. Carbon dioxide under supercritical conditions is one of these new techniques. U.S. patent 4,820,537 was issued to General Foods Corp. for a CO2 decaffeination process.
  • Process optimization- Food Technology now allows production of foods to be more efficient, Oil saving technologies are now available on different forms. Production methods and methodology have also become increasingly sophisticated.

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

[edit] Food Technology journals

[edit] Food Science and Technology Study Programs

[edit] References



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