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Food science is the applied science devoted to the study of food. The Institute of Food Technologists defines food science as "the discipline in which the engineering, biological, and physical sciences are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of deterioration, the principles underlying food processing, and the improvement of foods for the consuming public". The textbook Food Science defines food science in simpler terms as "the application of basic sciences and engineering to study the physical, chemical, and biochemical nature of foods and the principles of food processing".
Activities of food scientists include the development of new food products, design of processes to produce these foods, choice of packaging materials, shelf-life studies, sensory evaluation of products using panels or potential consumers, as well as microbiological and chemical testing. Food scientists may study more fundamental phenomena that are directly linked to the production of food products and its properties.
Food science brings together multiple scientific disciplines. It incorporates concepts from fields such as microbiology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry.
Professional associations of food scientists include:
Some of the subdisciplines of food science include
In the United States, food science is typically studied at land-grant universities. Many of the country's pioneering food scientists were women who had attended chemistry programs at land-grant universities (which were state-run and largely under state mandates to allow for sex-blind admission), but then graduated and had difficulty finding jobs due to widespread sexism in the chemistry industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Finding conventional career paths blocked, they found alternative employment as instructors in home economics departments and used that as a base to launch the foundation of many modern food science programs.
The main US organization regarding food science and International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST).
Popular books on some aspects of food science or kitchen science have been written by Harold McGee and Howard Hillman, among others.
Notable food science journals include:
Technology, Oxygen, Bread, Chemistry, /anic chemistry
Label, Temperature, Shelf life, Recycling, Box
Food science, Food chemistry, Peer review, Chicago, Food technology
Food science, World War II, Malnutrition, Russia, Biology
Food science, Chinese Academy of Engineering, China, Pinyin, Chinese Academy of Sciences