The food you eat affects every aspect of your life, from your physical well-being to your mental health.
“You are what you eat” as the old saying goes – and food science and food technology both play a big part in making sure what we eat is safe and nutritious…
What is food science?
Food science is the study of the biological, chemical and physical makeup of food, paying particular attention to how and why food decomposes and safe ways to preserve it.
Food scientists study chemistry, engineering, and microbiology to improve the nutritional value and availability of safe food.
What is food technology?
Food technology is the application of food science in dealing with the production process of foods, such as the preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and safe use of food.
The food we eat each day reaches our plate after extensive food research, meaning every part of the food industry, from the food producer to the food distributor, comes under scrutiny from food technologists.
What do food technologists and food scientists do?
Both food technologists and food scientists research and develop foods to make them safe and healthy for consumption – creating a range of different products to be made available to consumers.
Food technologists work across all parts of the food industry with all type of foodstuffs, from fresh foods to packaged foods, and frozen foods – managing both production and quality control, while also taking on supervisory roles as and when is necessary.
In addition to the quality control element, food scientists develop new foods, flavours, and colours, and examine markets to discover new trends.
Both food scientists and food technologists oversee the safety and hygiene of food production, and also take charge of food tasting and research to guarantee consistency.
Why is food science and food technology important?
The state of the nation’s health depends on the availability of good quality food, and it’s the job of the food scientist to make sure the food we eat is safe, taking into consideration all of the factors associated with preserving the food’s safety and nutritional properties, and ensuring its safe distribution to consumers.
Furthermore, food scientists are also responsible for advising the government on food safety, security, and the role the UK has to play in the sustainability of food both at home and across the globe.
What has food technology ever done for us?
If it’s not enough to ensure the food we eat is safe and has nutritional value, then food technology has been integral in the development of:
- frozen foods
- canned foods
- microwave meals
- milk that doesn’t quickly curdle
- nutritious new foods
- more easily prepared traditional foods
- variety in our diets.
So without food technology, not only would our dietary choices be a lot more limited with less nutritional value, everything we eat would have a much shorter shelf life, which would mean a lot more waste.
In short, both food scientists and food technologists are integral in ensuring everything we eat is safe to do so.