What is food science and why does it matter to me?

Welcome, and thanks for visiting! I am excited to kick off my first post with a dedication to food and the science that keeps us safe, healthy, and also happens to produce tasty snacks and healthy, convenient options!

But first, a little about me. I am a graduate of Purdue University with dual degrees in Food Science and Nutrition Science. I am currently working on my Master’s degree at Kansas State University. I have experience in laboratory testing methods, quality assurance, product development, commercialization, and some sensory science.

It is my goal to educate those who are interested in learning more about the food they eat. The first topic I would like to tackle is the definition of my field. What is food science?

You may think a potato chip is just a potato chip. But let’s take a closer look. Have you ever really thought about the food chain and what went into that chip? Let’s start at the beginning. Potatoes. Salt. Sunflower Oil. All the ingredients in this “simple” product are from the earth. But you know what? The earth is dirty. Your potatoes are grown in the ground among the earthworms and countless bacteria. Raw potatoes are not the most appetizing food.

So, how do you make those potatoes into a tasty snack that is safe to eat? Every step in the process from farm to fork is essential to commercializing a successful product. Along the way, product developers and sensory scientists work hard to develop a tasty and innovative product from benchtop to commercialization. During the development process, lab technicians are analyzing the chip to ensure it meets quality specifications and looks and tastes great. Microbiologist test the product and the plant to ensure you don’t get sick from eating the chips. The marketing and sales teams work to sell the product and spread the word through packaging and advertising. Finally, distribution chains and grocery stores transport and sell the product.

This is just one example, but did you realize there were so many hands involved in just a simple chip?!? If the science of food interests you I hope you will join us to learn more!


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