What is the role in food technology?

What is the role in food technology?

What is the role in food technology?

What else does food science have to study?

Rao Pingfan1 , Liu Shutao2 , Zhou Jianwu1 , Guo Jingke1 , Ke Lijing1 , *

(1. School of Food Science and Bioengineering, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310012; 2. School of Biological Science and Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, Fujian 350002)

Abstract: Modern food science and food industry, which originated from food processing, provide an unprecedented abundance of food, which is an indispensable basis for the progress and development of all human beings. So far, food science has systematically studied and controlled the preservation, nutrition and sensory properties of food, but there is still a lack of independent understanding of the role of food and the human body, and the existing knowledge is limited to nutrition and toxicology. The food industry has completely changed the way food is produced and consumed, as well as the function of food and the human body. The lack of research on the latter has contributed to public doubts about the safety and health concerns of industrial food. Looking back on history and analyzing the current situation, we try to propose three directions for the future research on “food-human interaction”: clarify the existence of food constituent molecules; decipher the human body’s response signal to food; study the utilization method of complementary food characteristics. To study the interaction between food and the human body from a new perspective is the need to accumulate unique methods and discoveries of food science, enrich the discipline and improve its status, and it is also necessary to answer and solve urgent problems faced by the food industry. Original discoveries build the science of whole foods.

Keywords: food science; food industry; human response; molecular state of existence; complementary properties

Modern industries are generally born on the basis of new technologies produced after breakthroughs in basic theories. This is true of the machinery industry, the electronics industry, and many other industries such as the medical and pharmaceutical industries. On the contrary, the modern food processing industry was formed first, followed by the birth of food science.

1 Review of the development of food science

In 1810, after more than ten years of hard work, the Frenchman Nicolas Appert successfully developed the canning process, and applied for a patent under the title of L’Art de conserver les substances animals et végétales (preservation process of animals and vegetables) [1 ] . All kinds of food materials are bottled, steamed and sealed for long-term preservation. The method is simple and quick, which greatly improves the level of military logistics supply. For the first time, food is produced in factories far away from consumers, and the modern food industry has announced the emergence. Appert, by training as a chef and confectioner, was of course ignorant of the microbiological principles of heat sterilization that were not elucidated until half a century later. Therefore, canning technology was only a craft with unknown principles at that time, and there was no technical control over the deterioration and corruption of products. The European and American media in the early 20th century were full of shocking stories of life-threatening canned food poisoning. The first product of modern processed food, canned food, became a daunting high-risk food for a while. The rise of high-pressure steam cooking in the 1870s and the addition of sodium benzoate or formalin helped to improve quality, but it still couldn’t prevent some products from exploding on the shelves for no reason, and others rancid inexplicably. Public fear of canning has endangered the survival of the industry. In 1913, a century after the invention of the canning process, the American canning industry finally united to establish a research institution [2] , starting with the bacteriological research on the deterioration process, and explaining the scientific principles of the canning process. For the first time, food has received in-depth and meticulous scientific research from the perspectives of biology, physics, chemistry and engineering. These studies have solved the problem of spoilage of canned food and greatly improved the flavor and color of canned food. , nutritional value and taste, making canning processing truly a science from a craft, and together with the discovery of the contemporary food Maillard reaction [3] , it has laid the foundation of food science. Since then, food science, like other sciences, has successfully led the development of a series of subsequent food processing technologies, promoted the rapid development of the modern food industry, and brought unprecedented changes to human food supply and even lifestyles.

Looking back at its birth process, we can see that food science originated from processed food, using methods from other basic disciplines to solve various problems arising from processing methods and food quality. In fact, the main development of food science in the following century also closely revolved around the preservation properties of processed foods and the sensory properties of foods. As a great achievement to be proud of in food science, the food industry is now able to provide humans with safe processed foods, whose nutritional properties are similar to those of the kitchen processed foods that humans are familiar with and love, and the various pleasing sensory properties are also fully preserved. So, do these industrially processed foods, which seem to have the same appearance and sensory properties, have the same function as the human body? Interestingly, from the very beginning, food science did not take it as its mission to understand the role of food and the human body. Even the effects of industrially processed foods created based on the principles of food science and the human body are still ignored by food science, as if it goes without saying that it is a matter of nutrition and toxicology.

Processing changes the function of food and the human body. This is true of modern food processing, and so is kitchen food processing. This is not only logical in theory, but also supported by countless facts and common sense in life. Ancient humans mastered the use of fire, and the earliest primitive processing of food completely changed humans, which is a familiar example. Modern food manufacturing uses methods that were impossible or even unimaginable in the past to produce processed foods, and these foods must also act on the human body in ways that humans do not understand. The study of nutrition and toxicology, which takes the interaction between food and the human body as the research object, focuses on the presence and amount of components, and non-molecular changes caused by processing, such as changes in the physical and chemical interactions between components and the state of molecular existence , it does not matter. Food science, the originator of processed food, only cares about maintaining the nutritional and sensory characteristics of food for a longer period of time and better, and does not mind the changes in the interaction between processed food and the human body, while nutritional toxicology does not care about the processing method and process. Powerless. Although the appearance and sensory characteristics of modern processed food are familiar, but in a strict scientific sense, human beings are still unfamiliar, and it can even be said that human beings really do not know what they are eating.

In the battle against famine, processed foods have made an inescapable contribution to food security. However, nations that have just escaped starvation are rushing towards obesity at the fastest speed, and the obese population in the world is increasing rapidly at the same rate as the reduction rate of the hungry population [4-5] . The reason is that although there are various explanations such as excess calorie intake or an unbalanced diet, human beings do not know enough about processed food, a sharp weapon to defeat famine, and have not yet fully understood the double-edged sword of processed food. important reason. “You are what you eat, what you eat becomes what you do”. The absence of food science in the interaction between processed food and the human body not only makes food science incomplete as a science, but also directly affects human biology and the future of human society.

Another direct consequence of the inaction of food science in understanding the role of processed foods in the human body is the complication of food safety issues and the adversarial relationship between consumers and the food industry. The role of processed food in the human body is necessarily different from the food consumers are familiar with. There is a lack of scientific understanding of this, and the industry completely ignores it. Consumers then associate different physical feelings with food safety issues, resulting in fear and hatred of processed foods, making food safety issues even more chaotic. The industry has no scientific tools that can effectively explain the doubts and worries caused by the differences in consumers’ personal experience. They can only use the conclusions of nutrition and toxicology to appease them. This kind of consumer education actually denies the self-experience of thousands of consumers, and the result is just the opposite. It can only make consumers doubt the sincerity of the industry and generate strong vigilance. Consumers are far more wary and hostile to the food industry than other industries. Resolving hostility requires a huge social cost. The wariness and hostility have wiped out the great contributions made by food science and food processing industry to human food security, and put both food science and food industry into an embarrassing situation unheard of in other disciplines and industries.

The public panic caused by frequent canned food safety incidents at the beginning of the 20th century led to serious responses by the industry. As a result, the safety problem of canned food was not only perfectly solved, but also ushered in the birth of food science, which finally made food processing a human solution. The most powerful technical tool for food security issues. A century later, processed food is once again causing public concern and misgiving, once again propelling the food industry to an important juncture in history. Whether to face up to consumers’ feelings and worries about processed food, firmly believe in science, and solve the problems by advancing food science, or adopt an ostrich attitude of denying and ignoring, this is a difficult choice for the food industry. However, if food science wants to become a real science, there is only one choice, and that is to use the development of food science to promote the industry to make the right choice. This is not only related to a discipline of food science and an industry of food industry, but It is the present and future of all mankind.

2 Development direction of food science

The study of the effects of food and the human body in food science is undoubtedly a logical progress in the development of the discipline from the outside to the inside, from the shallower to the deeper. The birth and development of food science has enabled human beings to enter the realm of freedom in changing the preservation, nutrition and sensory characteristics of food. Further research is naturally how food affects human biology and even emotions. Looking at related research carried out in other disciplines, due to the limitations of research objects and methods, it is difficult to expect major breakthroughs. Clarifying the role of food and the human body is not only an obligatory mission of food science, but also a rare opportunity for the development of food science. The breakthrough of food science in this field will enable it to describe a complete image of food from composition to function, become a real food science, and raise human’s understanding of food to a new level.

The same method can be used to process different ingredients to obtain products with different characteristics, while different methods can be used to process the same ingredients to obtain products with different characteristics. Different combinations of methods and ingredients can create endless possibilities for processed food. But food is still food after all, no matter what ingredients or processing methods. Only when the basic principle of the interaction between food and the human body is understood, can the problem of the interaction between processed food and the human body be easily solved. The disciplines of physiology, biochemistry, nutrition and toxicology have established a solid theoretical foundation on the digestion and absorption of food into the blood by the human body and the subsequent metabolic process. The efforts of food science to explain the interaction between food and the human body, or start from scratch with a new perspective, or fill in the omissions of the above-mentioned research, or adopt new methods that have not been used, will surely gain something. Based on such considerations, in order to attract more ideas, we try to propose the following three research directions of “food-human interaction”.

2.1 Clarify the existence state of food constituent molecules

Food is composed of numerous components. The actual chemical model for understanding this complex system is a mixture of free single molecules, that is, each component exists free and interacts with the human body alone. Therefore, the presence and amount of ingredients are now almost the only elements to describe the characteristics of food. This model can be used to characterize a small number of simple food systems, but due to ignoring the ubiquitous interactions between food components, when used in food systems involving animal and plant ingredients, the analytical results will deviate far from reality. Food raw materials take cells as the basic unit and originally have a very meticulous structure. Food processing destroys the cell structure, and the released components will definitely form a new structure from a thermodynamic point of view[6 ] . Food molecules interact with the human body in completely different ways depending on their state of existence. A nail can hurt people, but once it is nailed to the table and becomes a part of the table, it won’t hurt people. The effect of food components on the human body depends not only on their molecular type and concentration, but also on their state of existence. For example, the toxicity of acrylamide and Maillard reaction products is completely changed after the nanostructure is formed, the amount of epicatechin in milk chocolate that enters the serum after interacting with protein decreases sharply[7], and the addition of milk to coffee reduces its antioxidant activity [8] ] and so on. In addition to free components, we can fully grasp the changes that affect the properties of food by focusing on the micro-nano structure formed after factory processing and oral processing. The perspective of food research is promoted from chemistry to physical chemistry, from single molecule to supramolecular structure, which will bring the understanding of food to a new level.

2.2 Deciphering the body’s response signals to food

After the food enters the human body, before it is digested and completely absorbed, the human body will have a clear reaction after interacting with the mucosal cells, such as fluid production, thirst, hiccups, acid reflux, food accumulation, throat irritation, vomiting and diarrhea, etc. Extreme reactions such as vomiting and diarrhea make humans instinctively stop eating, but other milder reactions and pleasant reactions such as the production of body fluids are basically completely ignored by modern research, because in addition to the attention of traditional medical knowledge, Modern science is basically blank in this regard. Different people eat the same food to produce different signals, and the same person may produce different signals when eating the same food in different states, indicating that human food response signals can indicate the role of food and the human body. If the physiological meaning of human food response signals can be resolved, the biological or biochemical interactions between food and the human body can be directly read from the response signals. More meaningfully, once the biological significance of these signals is clarified, consumers will have a reliable and personalized basis for food choices.

2.3 Research on the utilization method of complementary food characteristics

Once the influence of physical and chemical effects on food characteristics and the signals sent by the human body to food are clarified, there will be a scientific basis for changing the interaction between food and the human body, and the means of change are no longer limited to chemical methods. At present, the practice of reducing the negative effects of food components by reducing the content or even completely eliminating them makes the food lose its original basic properties, and the food will not eat. Eliminating an ingredient with a new substitute always does more harm than good in the long-term and is a major cause of consumer loss of confidence in the food industry. The negative effects of food components on health can be inhibited by physical and chemical interactions with other components and components in other foods, and eliminated by combined consumption of foods. For example, the thirst effect caused by fast food such as fried chicken can be relieved by drinking appropriate tea instead of carbonated beverages, and the digestive tract stimulation effect of spicy food can be eliminated by drinking appropriate herbal tea. With the new freedom of science and technology that changes the effect of food on the human body, there will be greater freedom in the utilization and appreciation of food by human beings.

3 Outlook

Food science has made outstanding contributions to solving the most important food problems for human beings, but it is considered a purely applied science that uses knowledge and methods from other disciplines to study food, and its influence in the domestic and international academic circles is very limited. Studying the interaction between food and the human body from a new perspective is an excellent opportunity to accumulate unique methods and discoveries in food science, enrich the discipline, and improve the status of the discipline. The complexity of food as a chemical system is daunting. Analyzing the role of food and the human body through the micro-nano structure of physical and chemical assembly between food components will undoubtedly reveal the “code” of other complex systems that exist in nature. Research makes an impact. Clarifying the signals sent by the human body to food will effectively enrich the content of human physiology and deepen the understanding of the human body itself. It is foreseeable that the research on the interaction between food and the human body will not only answer and solve the urgent problems faced by the food industry, but also push food science to a new level, enabling food disciplines to produce original discoveries with cross-field impact, and With a complete and scientific new look, it stands proudly among the world’s disciplines.


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What Else Does Food Science Have to Study?

RAO Pingfan 1 , LIU Shutao 2 , ZHOU Jianwu 1 , GUO Jingke 1 , KE Lijing 1, *
(1.School of Food Science and Biotechnology, Zhejiang Gongshang Univesity, Hangzhou 310012, China; 2.Institute of Biotechnology, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350002, China)

Abstract:Started from food processing, modern food science and food industry have provided the world enormous amount of food and always played a vital role in the development and evolution of human society. To date, food science has systematically studied the food storage, nutrition char and sensory , while the interaction between food and body remains as a puzzle except a few pieces revealed by nutrition science and toxicology. Modern food industry has totally changed the way food is produced and consumed, and more importantly the way food interacts with humorance body. The of such changes in food science has made the debates in safety and health risks of industry food even more confusing.Three research topics are proposed for food-body interaction: elucidate the existing status of food compositions; interpret the body response to food; methods to utilize the complementary characteristics of different food compositions. From these new perspectives, some unique approaches and co-origins Science ought to be achieved, to provide answers to the major criticism upon food industry and transform food science to an integral science of food, an independent discipline of science.

Key words: food science; food industry; body response; molecule existing status; complementary characteristics

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