FNH 200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Food Science, Food Microbiology, Corn Syrup
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In this lesson we will define the field of food science, and discuss the size and scope
of the food industry in Canada. We will take a look at food production, importation and
distribution within Canada. Apple production and processing will be discussed as an
example of the conversion of an agricultural product into a variety of food products.
Finally, we will monitor some food consumption patterns and trends which have
occurred over the past 40 years.
After completing this lesson, you should be able to:
describe the field of Food Science;
describe the breadth and relative magnitude of various sectors of the Canadian
identify the trends in food consumption in Canada;
illustrate the ways that foods are distributed to consumers in Canada; and
outline how apples are converted into a variety of food products.
Top 10 Food Trends
What is the definition of Food Science?
Foods, as such, are complex systems subject to many forms of changes, including
biochemical, nutritional, physical and/or sensory changes. The multidisciplinaryscience
known as food science is used to pull together the wide range of knowledge that deals
Food Science can be defined as the application of the principles of science,
engineering and mathematics in order to study and acquire new knowledge on the
physical, chemical and biochemical nature of foods. Food science is a broad field that
is composed of specializations in food microbiology, food chemistry and food
engineering. Food science also involves the study of sensory properties of food, and
therefore, the psychology of food choice. From the information gathered by food
science, the corresponding technologies can be applied to the utilization, processing,
preservation and storage of food. This is known as food technology.
Here is a brief explanation of the main components (sub-fields) of Food
Science(adapted from Potter and Hotchkiss, 1995):
Food Chemistry: deals with the composition, structure and properties of food, as
well as the chemistry of changes that occur during processing.
Food Analysis: covers the principles and methods for quantitative physical and
chemical analyses of food products and ingredients. These analyses are related
to the standards and regulations for food processing.
Food Microbiology: relates to the study of microbial ecology in relation to food,
the effect of environment on food spoilage and food manufacture, the physical,
chemical, and biological destruction of microorganisms in food, the
microbiological examination of food stuffs, and public health and sanitation
Food Processing: covers the principles of food preservation and the general
characteristics of raw food materials, processing factors that influence quality,
packaging, waste management, good manufacturing practices, and sanitation
Food Engineering: relates to the study and application of engineering concepts
and unit operations used in food processing. Engineering principles include
material and energy balances, thermodynamics, fluid flow, and heat and mass
Are Food Science and Nutrition the same?
According to Murano, P.S. (2003), "the difference between
food science and nutrition is that nutrition deals with the
effects of foods in the person who consumes them, while
food science is concerned with the study of the chemical,
microbiological, physical, and sensory properties of foods
and their ingredients during processing, manufacture, and
How old is the discipline of Food Science?
Food science as a distinct discipline is quite new. However,
many aspects of "food science" have existed for many
centuries. Products derived from food fermentation
(biotechnology) have existed for thousands of years., For
example, there is evidence that people were fermenting
beverages in Babylon circa 5000 BC, ancient Egypt circa
3000 BC, and pre-Hispanic Mexico circa 2000 BC. Today we
know that fermentation not only contributes to a wide variety
of food products, but it also involves food processing and
Henry Holiday food in ancient Egypt
Another example dates back to 1795, when Emperor
Napoleon offered 12,000 francs for a new way of
preserving food for its army. It was the French
confectioner François Nicolas Appert who won the prize
by placing food in wide-mouthed bottles, then corking
and heating them in a water bath. The existence of
bacteria was not known at the time, and Appert did not
know the principle upon which his process depended;
however, he was correct in the thought that heat could
preserve food. Appert is therefore known as the
discoverer of thermal processing (canning).
Nicolas Appert (1749 - 1841)
Extent of Canada's Food System
In Canada, we have a diverse food system with thousands of food products available
for purchase. Those products include foods produced in Canada as well as food
products imported from many countries around the world.
The Canadian food system is depicted in Figure 1.1. Foodstuffs (fruit, vegetables,
cereal grains, oilseeds, animals, fowl) are produced by farmers involved in primary
agricultural production. Fin fish, molluscs and crustaceans are harvested from the
wild or raised on fish farms. Unprocessed foodstuffs and fish are also imported for sale
or processing in Canada. These products are shipped directly to farmers' markets,
processors or distributors. Many agricultural and fishery products undergo some form
of processing/preservation prior to distribution to the consumer market. Many foods
are fabricated from the foodstuffs produced by primary agricultural and fishery
harvesting. Examples of fabricated foods are bread, smoked and cured luncheon
meats, soft drinks, yogurt and chewing gum, to name a few.
Food products from processors or primary producers often pass through various
distributors before they reach retail stores or food service outlets. Foods are retailed
through chain stores and smaller independent stores, as well as numerous
convenience stores which may be part of a chain or may be owned by an independent
operator, as well as food co-operatives.