Students studying food science and technology in higher education need to have undertaken courses in the basic scientific disciplines of chemistry, biology, mathematics, statistics, and physics. These are developed in food science and technology degree programs through course elements in Food Chemistry, Food Analysis, Food Biochemistry, Food Biotechnology, Food Microbiology, Numerical Procedures, and Food Physics.
These are all covered by chapters in this book, followed by chapters covering Food Processing, Food Engineering and Packaging. Further courses are required in Nutrition, Sensory Evaluation, Statistical Techniques, and Quality Assurance and Legislation. Regulatory Toxicology and Food Safety is addressed, as is Food Business Management. Other course elements in Food Marketing and Product Development are included, together with chapters on Information Technology, and Communication and Transferable Skills.
Evolution of the book
The book has evolved from a working group of the Committee of University Professors of Food Science and Technology (CUPFST), United Kingdom, who 2 Food Science and Technology sought to agree a framework of common course elements for the various food science and technology courses established in the UK.
Newer universities advised that each course element should be based on outcomes, which should be achieved on successful completion, and it is these outcome headings that have largely been used as subject headings in each chapter of this book. This approach is popular internationally and is used by professional institutes such as the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) in the UK, and the book has evolved in consultation with the recommended Education Standards for Food Science of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in the USA.
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Food safety assurance
In our increasingly interdependent globalized world, food safety is an implied term in the food purchasing or food service’ consumer contract, which often appears to be addressed publicly only when something goes wrong. In fact, food control agencies and food retailers require processors and manufacturers to apply Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) to all their processes.
This, combined with good practices, such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and traceability, build quality and safety assurance into the food chain, which is inherently better with the very large number of food items produced and eaten frequently, and when an individual item or destructive testing can only give a limited picture of the total production. Both HACCP and GMP require good teamwork by all involved in food processing, and it is the multidisciplinary-trained food scientist or technologist who usually is called upon to lead and guide these operations.
The International Union of Food Science and Technology
UFoST is the international body representing some 65 member countries and some 200,000 food scientists and technologists worldwide. IUFoST organizes World Congresses of Food Science and Technology in different locations around the world, normally every 2 years, at which the latest research and ideas are shared, and the opportunity is provided for young food scientists to present papers and posters and to interact with established world experts. Higher education in food science and technology has been of great interest for several years, with many developing countries looking for guidance in establishing courses in the subject, or to align them more closely with others, to help graduates move more successfully between countries and regions.