What comes to your mind when someone mentions the term food scientist? Do you think that food scientists in UK make artificial flavours? Maybe, you think that they do some manipulations to create unnatural food. What about a food technologist in UK? The quality of food you eat is one of the factors that have a big impact on your fitness and health. The health of billions depends on the quality of food they can access. Food safety is an important aspect of good health. The nutrient profile of a food product determines its impact on your health. This is the reason why companies in the food industry work with a food scientist consultant.
They make sure that you get food with optimal nutrition. Even governments work with food scientist consultants to make decisions related to food security. Their advice plays an important role in future food security and sustainability. For food security and sustainability, it is important to create and maintain food supply chains.
Traditionally, food is processed to preserve its nutritious properties and keep it safe. It takes time to bring food to your table. How do you get Italian sauce to enjoy here in the UK? You order canned Italian tomatoes, right? It is because of food processing.
Back in 1932, Clarence Birdseye developed the technique of quick-freezing process. This was the foundation of an industry dealing with frozen food. Canned products helped in addressing the food requirements of the army and navy.
Some people think that processed foods are ready meals with salt and fat. However, this belief about food processing is misleading. In simple words, food processing involves harvesting, packing, transportation and storage of food. This makes sure that food remains fresh.
Food processing is an industry that covers the following sectors:
- Dairy (ice cream, yoghurts, UHT milk, fresh milk)
- Cereals (cereal bars, mueslis, cereal breakfast products)
- Baking (biscuits, home bake products, cakes, bread rolls, sliced bread)
- Confectionery (sweets and chocolate)
- Snack foods (nuts, snacks and crisps )
- Prepared vegetables and eggs (packed mixed salad leaves, washed and cut vegetables)
- Fresh produce (fish, meat and vegetables)
- Wine and beer
- Soft drinks
- Tea and Coffee
- Frozen foods
- Canned products
It covers almost every food item that you purchase from the market.
Food security is much more than increasing food production. Growing more food is not a complete solution to the food crisis. The industry gets raw farm produce. This raw farm produce is converted into food products you purchase from the market. A food scientist consultant, food scientists and food technologists make it happen for you. The goal is to process food in a cost-effective and energy-efficient way, preserve the maximum possible original nutrient content and minimize waste production during processing, packaging and distribution.
The demand for canned foods, ready meals and other convenience foods has increased. We all are living busy lives. People doing nine to five jobs don’t get enough time to pay attention to their fitness and health. You know that consuming saturated and trans fats and salts can be risky. Food scientists work to maintain a balance of reducing levels of trans fats, saturated fats and salts by reformulating food products and at the same time, ensure that the functional roles of trans fats, saturated fats and salts are also maintained in the food products. Trans fats maintain an acceptable texture. There are acceptable levels of nutrients and minerals in each food product. Food scientists make sure these acceptable levels are maintained. Considering the effects of trans fats on diet, food scientists look for alternative formulations and food processing techniques.
People running the food industry understand that customers want more choices of healthy and functional foods. Food scientists and technologists help in making a food product palatable to customers. The aim of food scientists is to understand how we smell and taste foods.