What is Food Science?

Food Science, an ever evolving field, works to optimize and improve food.  We study processing methods, which large-scale technique is the most efficient to cool broccoli, shelf life stability of salad dressings, packaging (MAP, CAP, etc.), advertising and much more.  Food scientists develop new Skittle flavors, better-for-you foods, more efficient irrigation systems in third world countries and innovative detection methods for pathogens.  Food Science, although distinct from Nutrition and the Culinary Arts, is and will forever be intrinsically intertwined with the two.  Food Science deals with the physical, microbiological and chemical components within a food.  Nutrition studies how the food interacts within our bodies (growth, repair) and the Culinary Arts shapes food into an expressive art form through various food preparations.

You may ask, what about molecular gastronomy?  Molecular gastronomy, popularized by many such as Wylie Dufresne (wd~50), Herve This, Grant Achatz (Alinea) and Ferran Adrià (elBulli), deals with the physical and chemical reactions behind culinary ingredient transformation during the cooking process.  Food Science absolutely incorporates the idea of molecular gastronomy, but it also encompasses a huge range of topics outside “the science of flavor.”

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One comment

  1. Very nice blog. The Food Science program at OSU is doing some interesting things. While there are no restaurants in town doing anything “molecular,” there are a few of us experimenting at home. If you are interested in sharing a 5lb bag of transglutaminase, drop me a line!

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