Why is it important to know food science?

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Why is it important to understand food science

It is always helpful to understand what you are eating. Food provides many helpful benefits other than just satisfying hunger.

As our bodies change and adapt, a specific diet can be the difference between physically fit to poor health. Understanding food science can not only help with your own health but can even help in certain job prospects.

There are food science jobs for those who can divulge themselves fully into the scientific field. A team of experts from job sites like Jooble can specify these requirements. You can find the right job which supports this area of expertise. Gor now, we can explain the basics with this handy guide. 

What is the Science of Food?

The name is used to describe applying scientific reasoning and principles to things we eat. It is also how we maintain our food supplies in the most efficient manner. How we take care of our food and how we eat it are both two sides which make up the science. This is something that has changed over the years as our society evolves. We now have access to a greater variety of food than ever before. We also have new technology that helps us store and cultivate our food in better ways. 

It is thanks to food science that we have invented all kinds of methods in food storage. Examples include: 

  • Canned food
  • Meat freezers
  • Microwaveable meals
  • Nutritional dishes
  • Convenient snacks
  • Food preservation

All these inventions are thanks to the dedicated and talented people who work in this industry. Learning about food science not only helps people but helps the environment too. The more ways we can find in preserving food, the better chances people have during serious events. For example, canned food is the go-to for those bunkering down during war-torn areas. They were vital during the events of both WW1 and WW2. If you decide to work in this field, you too can discover a way to help people. 

The “Science” of Food Science

To become a food scientist, there are multiple scientific fields one must be well-versed in. While not all are necessary, having more qualifications can help with certain job prospects. The main elements to learn are chemistry, microbiology, and biochemistry.

  • Chemistry is the science of learning about chemicals and how they interact with each other.
  • Microbiology is where we learn about the small micro-organisms that inhabit everything we come across, including in our food.
  • Biochemistry is the study of both life and chemicals, with how the chemistry of living things change in our cells. 

There are other specialist subjects that can also assist in food science. Engineering is one of them, albeit a confusing choice at first. Creating technological advancements to help with the maintenance of food requires some engineering knowledge.

An example of this kind of work includes helping maintain freezers used for food shortage. Regulating temperatures, securing pressure valves, and keeping cold contained. You can sometimes find other specific subjects that directly relate to food science.

Things like catering or cooking courses may even teach you something about the Nutritional value of food

Leading to Better Eating

We can talk about the various ways we can preserve food thanks to food science. This is not only that we don’t lose the nutrients they have, but also from expiring entirely. Once food expires, it can no longer be safe to eat. The reason why food expires can be different depending on which piece of food it is. Experts have pinpointed two main reasons.

The first being simple chemical reactions to air. Substances like milk or butter will go through a process called oxidation, which makes it unsafe to eat because of the chemical mix. The second reason why food expires is due to microorganisms feeding on our food too. Bacteria love to grow and spread on anything that has nutrients to feed on.

The science behind food preservation is to simply prevent these two outcomes happening. The first problem can be easy enough to solve. Preventing air from coming into contact with food can be done through special containers. Vacuum packaging is a way to suck out the air from a container.

As for the other issue of bacteria, this can be stopped through refrigeration and freezing. Most bacteria can’t survive in colder temperatures. Some supermarkets have large freezers used to store hundreds of food items. Food science can help determine which foods are more suitable to freezing. 

Food Science Jobs

To become a food scientist (known as a food technologist in some circles), you must be sure to meet the necessary qualifications to be offered a placement. The main job role is to develop food and drink products, as well making sure they are safe enough to consume.

The average salary you can expect can be between $30,000 to $50,000 per year. The average work hours can be between 39 to 41 per week. This is a full-time position as your responsibilities will be that vital in the safety of food. On the plus side, it can be a great way to experiment and come up with incredible new inventions. 

You can find university courses in the basic sciences that relate to this field. Examples were mentioned already, but some courses can be centered specifically on food science itself. Some companies and organizations can offer internships to study at and gain experience. Examples of some of the best universities in food sciences are as followed: 

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Cornell University 
  • Rutgers State University
  • University of Florida
  • University of California Davis

Apply Now

While it can be a long journey, the work you do as a food scientist can help change the world. This is vital to be sure you are working with the right people. Be sure to highlight the many accomplishments you have earned on your resume.

Anything that relates to food and scientific accomplishments is something that can really impress organizations. Examples of groups to look at are the American Society for Nutrition and the Institute of Food Technologists. 

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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