Food engineering

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Bread factory in Germany

Food engineering is a multidisciplinary field which combines microbiology, applied physical sciences, chemistry and engineering for food and related industries. Food engineering includes, but is not limited to, the application of agricultural engineering, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering principles to food materials. Food engineers provide the technological knowledge transfer essential to the cost-effective production and commercialization of food products and services. Physics, chemistry, and mathematics are fundamental to understanding and engineering products and operations in the food industry. [1]

Food microbiology the study of the microorganisms that inhibit, create, or contaminate food

Food microbiology is the study of the microorganisms that inhibit, create, or contaminate food, including the study of microorganisms causing food spoilage, pathogens that may cause disease especially if food is improperly cooked or stored, those used to produce fermented foods such as cheese, yogurt, bread, beer, and wine, and those with other useful roles such as producing probiotics.

Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

Agricultural engineering applied science

Agricultural engineering is the engineering discipline that studies agricultural production and processing. Agricultural engineering combines the disciplines of mechanical, civil, electrical and chemical engineering principles with a knowledge of agricultural principles according to technological principles. A key goal of this discipline is to improve the efficacy and sustainability of agricultural practices. One of the leading organizations in this industry is the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.


Food engineering encompasses a wide range of activities. Food engineers are employed in food processing, food machinery, packaging, ingredient manufacturing, instrumentation, and control. Firms that design and build food processing plants, consulting firms, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and health-care firms also employ food engineers. Specific food engineering activities include:

Ingredient substance used in the preparation of food

An ingredient is a substance that forms part of a mixture. For example, in cooking, recipes specify which ingredients are used to prepare a specific dish. Many commercial products contain secret ingredients that are purported to make them better than competing products. In the pharmaceutical industry, an active ingredient is that part of a formulation that yields the effect expected by the customer.


In the development of food engineering, one of the many challenges is to employ modern tools, technology, and knowledge, such as computational materials science and nanotechnology, to develop new products and processes. Simultaneously, improving quality, safety, and security remain critical issues in food engineering study. New packaging materials and techniques are being developed to provide more protection to foods, and novel preservation technology is emerging. Additionally, process control and automation regularly appear among the top priorities identified in food engineering. Advanced monitoring and control systems are developed to facilitate automation and flexible food manufacturing. Furthermore, energy saving and minimization of environmental problems continue to be important food engineering issues, and significant progress is being made in waste management, efficient utilization of energy, and reduction of effluents and emissions in food production.

Nanotechnology ("nanotech") is manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products, also now referred to as molecular nanotechnology. A more generalized description of nanotechnology was subsequently established by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which defines nanotechnology as the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers. This definition reflects the fact that quantum mechanical effects are important at this quantum-realm scale, and so the definition shifted from a particular technological goal to a research category inclusive of all types of research and technologies that deal with the special properties of matter which occur below the given size threshold. It is therefore common to see the plural form "nanotechnologies" as well as "nanoscale technologies" to refer to the broad range of research and applications whose common trait is size.

Automatic process control in continuous production processes is a combination of control engineering and chemical engineering disciplines that uses industrial control systems to achieve a production level of consistency, economy and safety which could not be achieved purely by human manual control. It is implemented widely in industries such as oil refining, pulp and paper manufacturing, chemical processing and power generating plants.

Waste management activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal

Waste management are the activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes the collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, together with monitoring and regulation of the waste management process.

Typical topics include:

Food storage type of storage that allows food to be eaten after time

Food storage allows food to be eaten for some time after harvest rather than solely immediately. It is both a traditional domestic skill and, in the form of food logistics, an important industrial and commercial activity. Food preservation, storage, and transport, including timely delivery to consumers, are important to food security, especially for the majority of people throughout the world who rely on others to produce their food. Food is stored by almost every human society and by many animals. Storing of food has several main purposes:

Food extrusion

Food extrusion is a form of extrusion used in food processing. It is a process by which a set of mixed ingredients are forced through an opening in a perforated plate or die with a design specific to the food, and are then cut into a specific size by blades. The machine which forces the mix through the die is an extruder, and the mix is known as the extrudate. The extruder consists of a large, rotating screw tightly fitting within a stationary barrel, at the end of which is the die.

Food packaging packaging for food

Food packaging is packaging for food. A package provides protection, tampering resistance, and special physical, chemical, or biological needs. It may bear a nutrition facts label and other information about food being offered for sale.

See also

Cosmetics substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body

Cosmetics are substances or products used to enhance or alter the appearance of the face or fragrance and texture of the body. Many cosmetics are designed for use of applying to the face and body. They are generally mixtures of chemical compounds; some being derived from natural sources, and many synthetic or artificial. Cosmetics that are applied to the face to enhance ones appearance are often called make-up or makeup. Common make-up items include: lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, foundation, blush, and bronzer. Other common cosmetics include skin cleansers, body lotions, shampoo and conditioner, hairstyling products, perfume and cologne.

Food science applied science devoted to the study of food

Food science is the science of nature devoted to the study of food; it is often confused with "food technology". The Institute of Food Technologists defines food science as "the discipline in which the engineering, biological, and physical sciences are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of deterioration, the principles underlying food processing, and the improvement of foods for the consuming public". The textbook Food Science defines food science in simpler terms as "the application of basic sciences and engineering to study the physical, chemical, and biochemical nature of foods and the principles of food processing".

Food technology academic discipline regarding the healthy preparation of foods

Food technology is a branch of food science that deals with the production processes that make foods.

Related Research Articles

Biochemical engineering

Biochemical engineering, also known as bioprocess engineering, is a field of study with roots stemming from chemical engineering and biological engineering. It mainly deals with the design, construction, and advancement of unit processes that involve biological organisms or organic molecules and has various applications in areas of interest such as biofuels, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and water treatment processes. The role of a biochemical engineer is to take findings developed by biologists and chemists in a laboratory and translate that to a large-scale manufacturing process.

Dielectric spectroscopy measuring dielectric properties of medium

Dielectric spectroscopy measures the dielectric properties of a medium as a function of frequency. It is based on the interaction of an external field with the electric dipole moment of the sample, often expressed by permittivity.

A bioprocess is a specific process that uses complete living cells or their components to obtain desired products.

Magnesium stearate chemical compound

Magnesium stearate is the chemical compound with the formula Mg(C
. It is a soap, consisting of salt containing two equivalents of stearate (the anion of stearic acid) and one magnesium cation (Mg2+). Magnesium stearate is a white, water-insoluble powder. Its applications exploit its softness, insolubility in many solvents, and low toxicity. It is used as a release agent and as a component or lubricant in the production of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Process analytical technology (PAT) has been defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a mechanism to design, analyze, and control pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through the measurement of Critical Process Parameters (CPP) which affect Critical Quality Attributes (CQA).

Biological engineering Application of biology and engineering to create useful products

Biological engineering, or bioengineering/bio-engineering, is the application of principles of biology and the tools of engineering to create usable, tangible, economically viable products. Biological engineering employs knowledge and expertise from a number of pure and applied sciences, such as mass and heat transfer, kinetics, biocatalysts, biomechanics, bioinformatics, separation and purification processes, bioreactor design, surface science, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and polymer science. It is used in the design of medical devices, diagnostic equipment, biocompatible materials, renewable bioenergy, ecological engineering, agricultural engineering, and other areas that improve the living standards of societies. Examples of bioengineering research include bacteria engineered to produce chemicals, new medical imaging technology, portable and rapid disease diagnostic devices, prosthetics, biopharmaceuticals, and tissue-engineered organs. Bioengineering overlaps substantially with biotechnology and the biomedical sciences in a way analogous to how various other forms of engineering and technology relate to various other sciences.

A nonthermal plasma, cold plasma or non-equilibrium plasma is a plasma which is not in thermodynamic equilibrium, because the electron temperature is much hotter than the temperature of heavy species. As only electrons are thermalized, their Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution is very different than the ion velocity distribution. When one of the velocities of a species does not follow a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, the plasma is said to be non-Maxwellian.

Soft sensor or virtual sensor is a common name for software where several measurements are processed together. Commonly soft sensors are based on control theory and also receive the name of state observer. There may be dozens or even hundreds of measurements. The interaction of the signals can be used for calculating new quantities that need not be measured. Soft sensors are especially useful in data fusion, where measurements of different characteristics and dynamics are combined. It can be used for fault diagnosis as well as control applications.

Bioprocess engineering, also biochemical engineering, is a specialization of chemical engineering or Biological engineering, It deals with the design and development of equipment and processes for the manufacturing of products such as agriculture, food, feed, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, chemicals, and polymers and paper from biological materials & treatment of waste water. Bioprocess engineering is a conglomerate of mathematics, biology and industrial design,and consists of various spectrums like designing of bioreactors, study of fermentors. It also deals with studying various biotechnological processes used in industries for large scale production of biological product for optimization of yield in the end product and the quality of end product. Bioprocess engineering may include the work of mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineers to apply principles of their disciplines to processes based on using living cells or sub component of such cells.

Biomolecular engineering is the application of engineering principles and practices to the purposeful manipulation of molecules of biological origin. Biomolecular engineers integrate knowledge of biological processes with the core knowledge of chemical engineering in order to focus on molecular level solutions to issues and problems in the life sciences related to the environment, agriculture, energy, industry, food production, biotechnology and medicine.

Bioelectronics is a field of research in the convergence of biology and electronics.

Bioproducts or bio-based products are materials, chemicals and energy derived from renewable biological resources.

<i>Food Science and Technology International</i> peer-reviewed scientific journal

Food Science and Technology International is a bi-monthly peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes scholarly articles in the field of food science.The journal was established in 1995, and is currently published by SAGE Publications in association with the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).

Food physical chemistry is considered to be a branch of Food chemistry concerned with the study of both physical and chemical interactions in foods in terms of physical and chemical principles applied to food systems, as well as the applications of physical/chemical techniques and instrumentation for the study of foods. This field encompasses the "physiochemical principles of the reactions and conversions that occur during the manufacture, handling, and storage of foods"

Bioproducts engineering or bioprocess engineering refers to engineering of bio-products from renewable bioresources. This pertains to the design and development of processes and technologies for the sustainable manufacture of bioproducts from renewable biological resources.

Free acidity is an important parameter that defines the quality of olive oil and is defined as a percentage as grams of free fatty acids in 100 grams of oil. As defined by the European Commission regulation No. 2568/91 and subsequent amendments, the highest quality olive oil must feature a free acidity lower than 0.8%. Virgin olive oil is characterized by acidity between 0.8% and 2%, while lampante olive oil features a free acidity higher than 2%. The increase of free acidity in olive oil is due to free fatty acids that are released from triglycerides.

Intermediate moisture food

Intermediate moisture foods (IMF) are shelf-stable products that have water activities of 0.6-0.84, with a moisture content ranging from 15% - 40% and are edible without rehydration. These food products are below the minimum water activity for most bacteria (0.90), but are susceptible to yeast and mold growth. Historically, ancient civilizations would produce IMF using methods such as sun drying, roasting over fire and adding salt to preserve food for winter months or when preparing for travel. Currently, this form of processing is achieved by using one of four methods: partial drying, osmotic drying using a humectant, dry infusion and by formulation. A variety of products are classified as IMF such as dried fruits, sugar added commodities, marshmallows, and pie fillings.

Elaine Barbara Martin OBE FREng FIChemE CEng is a Chemical Engineer and Statistician and Head of School at the University of Leeds. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, Royal Statistical Society and Royal Academy of Engineering.

María Guðjónsdóttir Icelandic academic

María Guðjónsdóttir is a professor of food science at the University of Iceland.


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