Navigation Links
Food for thought: delivering the promise of food processing
Date:1/4/2008

Humans have transformed raw ingredients into food since prehistoric times. But scientists are still looking for new ways to make food taste better and survive longer. Presenting their findings at a recent European Science Foundation (ESF) and European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST) conference, scientists show how new food technologies are changing European diets.

The industrial revolution brought the advent of modern food processing technology. Whether you credit the Frenchman Nicholas Appert in 1809, or British born Peter Durand in 1810, the invention of the tin can has revolutionised the way people eat. The motivation behind its invention was simple make food last long. Two hundred years on, food scientists are still trying to improve the shelf life of food.

For example, by introducing mixtures of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide into packaging, some fresh vegetables have had their life extended two- or three-fold. A similar approach is used in the packaging of meat, where gas is pumped into packaging, reducing oxygenation of the meats pigments, extending its shelf life.

But todays food scientists have to consider more than just the use-by-date. Europeans want food that is cheap, convenient, high quality, safe and more and more produced in a eco-friendly way, explains Professor Brian McKenna, a food scientist at University College Dublin in Ireland. In addition, McKenna thinks that food plays a variety of roles in European society nowadays. Food is important to peoples health as it is increasingly being linked to diseases such as obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes, he says. Furthermore, Europeans are now more aware of the cultural role of food in every day life. So food scientists must design technology that helps people get what they want from their food.

While increased interest over food can deliver more choice for consumers, it has also led to some misinformed debates. And Europeans have resisted many potentially useful technologies over unsubstantiated fears that they are not safe. Nowadays, the public are much more sceptical, particularly when it come to food, says McKenna. McKenna cites the example of using irradiation to kill pests and increase the shelf-life of mushrooms. But this process is confined to only a few countries within Europe, such as the Netherlands, despite a considerable amount of evidence that it is safe for humans.

McKenna thinks that food scientists must consider the publics perception of new technologies or risk the rejection of these technologies. One example is nanotechnologyengineering at a very small scale. Nanotechnology is being used in medicine to deliver drugs to specific targets in the body. A similar approach could be used in food to deliver vitamins. However, there are currently no foods using nano-particles in this way in Europe. The use of nanotechnology in food has been slow because of public concern that nano-ingredients could reach parts of the body where they were never intended.

McKenna hopes that by understanding the socioeconomic, political, and cultural influences on what Europeans eat, food scientists can better advise policy makers about how food should be processed and packaged, and how it is sold and eventually eaten.

The conference, on November 5-6, was attended by 75 scientists and policy makers from 22 countries and was one of the series of research conferences organised by the ESF-COST Forward Look initiative. Forward Look, a flagship instrument of the ESF, allows scientists to meet people from the world of policy and help set priorities for future research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Astrid Lunkes
alunkes@esf.org
33-388-762-172
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Nanotube-producing bacteria show manufacturing promise
2. Summer-dormant tall fescue grass shows promise for pasture improvements
3. Sweet potato shines as new promise for small enterprise and hunger relief in developing countries
4. Genetic ancestral testing cannot deliver on its promise, study warns
5. New genetic research into nicotine addiction shows promise for personalized treatment
6. Tiny tubes and rods show promise as catalysts, sunscreen
7. New CPR promises better results by compressing abdomen, not Chest
8. Innovative civil engineering application promises cleaner waters
9. Raydiance collaborates with Rutgers, MTF to develop innovative tissue processing approaches
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/20/2016)...  VoiceIt is excited to announce its new ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer ... take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration ... usability. Both ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic ... sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by ... tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has already ... therapeutics in multiple cancer types. Over ... DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announces the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention ... recruitment and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
Breaking Biology Technology: