Food Technology Project Topics

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Food technology is the area of food science in which food scientists analyze and make improvements to food preparation, cooking methods, preservation and packaging. Food scientists make these improvements through advancements in scientific methods and research. Analysis, especially the analysis of the chemical composition of food, also plays an important role in developing new food technologies. For a food technology project, you can choose an idea in one of these areas, or choose to analyze the chemical content of a food.

  1. Packaging

    • Packaging is an important topic in the food industry. The food industry uses different types of packaging for different purposes. For a food technology project regarding packaging, you could show how various packaging materials produce diverse effects on the food contained within them. One example for this type of project is to wrap a food item whose process of spoiling is easily seen, like a sliced apple, in diverse types of packaging material. Wrap apple slices in various packaging materials, including cellophane, plastic bags, foil and paper, and place them in the fridge; monitor the slices’ decomposition progress to report on which types of wrapping preserve the apple slices best.

    Cooking Processes

    • Food scientists are interested in how to cook foods of diverse types, shapes and sizes. They are also interested in the mathematical relationships between cooking times, temperatures and the foods cooked. Some may assume this type of research is similar to creating new recipes, but the true intent of a scientist analyzing cooking processes is much like the intent of a chemist investigating the boiling and freezing temperatures of different chemicals – to create a knowledge base for the basic units of the science. A project studying the cooking process should incorporate these variables of interest. For example, you can determine how the thickness of chicken breast affects cooking time. Purchase chicken breasts of various thicknesses, insert cooking thermometers into their middles and then cook them. Measure how long it takes for each piece of chicken to reach 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Relate the cooking time to the thickness of the chicken breast in your report.

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    Preservation

    • Although packaging is an important part of food preservation, people have been preserving food for centuries without modern-day packaging devices like zipper-lock bags and foil. Instead, the most important aspect of food preservation are the ingredients used in food itself. As food scientists are interested in what types of ingredients help preserve food, you can take this angle for your project. As an ingredient project, analyze specific ingredients’ effects on bacteria growth. Put different types of foods, like garlic or onions, in a petri dish with a small amount of bacteria. Monitor the bacteria’s growth over the span of a few days to determine which ingredients fight bacterial growth best.

    Food Analysis

    • Food technology is also about analyzing foods so that food scientists can determine what types of technology will best benefit specific foods. If you wish to perform a food analysis project, first select a food item and the ingredient or chemical contained with it that you are interested in researching. A simple example of food analysis involves determining the water content of fruit. Gather together different fruits, weigh them, slice them, dry them and then reweigh them. The difference between the first and second weights is the fruit’s water weight.

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Fresh fruits and vegetables – An overview on applied methodologies to improve its quality and safety

The consumers demand for fresh fruits and vegetables has increased in recent years. These foods may be consumed raw or minimally processed, and therefore can be a vehicle of several pathogens. The microorganisms most frequently linked to produce-related outbreaks include bacteria (Salmonella spp.,Listeria monocytogenesEscherichia coli, and Shigella spp.), viruses and parasites.

There are many traditional technologies to reduce/eliminate the microorganisms present in food products. However, further research on this topic is still required, since none of the methods reported can control all the parameters necessary to achieve produce with an extending shelf-life, without compromising its quality.

In this paper, an analysis of the alternative and traditional methodologies is made, pointing out the significant advantage and limitations of each technique.

Industrial relevance

The significant increase in the incidence of foodborne outbreaks caused by contaminated minimally processed produce in recent years has become of extreme importance. The extensive knowledge of gentle (non-thermal) processes to enhance safety, preservation and shelf-life of these products is crucial for the food industry.

This manuscript presents non-thermal processes that have shown efficient microbial reductions on fresh produce and highlights some of their challenges and limitations.

Keywords

  • Minimally processed fruits and vegetables;
  • sanitizing methods;
  • quality and safety

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General information related to microbiological risks in food

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Foodborne illness caused by microorganisms is a large and growing public health problem. Most countries with systems for reporting cases of foodborne illness have documented significant increases over the past few decades in the incidence of diseases caused by microorganisms in food, including pathogens such asSalmonellaCampylobacter jejuni and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, and parasites such as cryptosporidium, cryptospora, trematodes.

Approximately 1.8 million children in developing countries (excluding China) died from diarrhoeal disease in 1998, caused by microbiological agents, mostly originating from food and water. One person in three in industrialized countries may be affected by foodborne illness each year. In the USA, some 76 million cases of foodborne illness, resulting in 325 000 hospitalizations and 5000 deaths, are estimated to occur each year. There are only limited data on the economic consequences of food contamination and foodborne disease. In studies in the United States of America (USA) in 1995, it was estimated that the annual cost of the 3.3-12 million cases of foodborne illness caused by seven pathogens was US$ 6.5-35 billion. The medical costs and the value of the lives lost during just five foodborne outbreaks in England and Wales in 1996 were estimated at GB£ 300-700 million. The cost of the estimated 11 500 daily cases of food poisoning in Australia was calculated at AU$ 2.6 billion annually. The increased incidence of foodborne disease due to microbiological hazards is the result of a multiplicity of factors, all associated with our fast-changing world. Demographic profiles are being altered, with increasing proportions of people who are more susceptible to microorganisms in food. Changes in farm practices, more extensive food distribution systems and the increasing preference for meat and poultry in developing countries all have the potential to increase the incidence of foodborne illness. Extensive food distribution systems raise the potential for rapid, widespread distribution of contaminated food products. Changes in food production result in new types of food that may harbour less common pathogens. Intensive animal husbandry technologies, introduced to minimize production costs, have led to the emergence of new zoonotic diseases, which affect humans. Safe disposal of manure from large-scale animal and poultry production facilities is a growing food safety problem in much of the world, as manure frequently contains pathogens.

Changes in eating patterns, such as a preference for fresh and minimally processed foods, the increasingly longer interval between processing and consumption of foods and the increasing prevalence of eating food prepared outside the home all contribute to the increased incidences of foodborne illness ascribed to microbiological organisms. The emergence of new pathogens and pathogens not previously associated with food is a major public health concern. E. coli O157:H7 was identified for the first time in 1979 and has subsequently caused illness and deaths (especially among children) owing to its presence in ground beef, unpasteurized apple cider, milk, lettuce, alfalfa and other sprouts, and drinking-water in several countries. Salmonella typhimurium DT104 has developed resistance to five commonly prescribed antibiotics and is a major concern in many countries because of its rapid spread during the 1990s.

These changes in microbiological hazards in foods have been recognized by the World Health Assembly and by the Codex Alimentarius. The 22nd session of the Codex

Alimentarius Commission and the 45th Codex Executive Committee requested FAO and WHO to convene an international expert advisory body similar to the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) on the microbiological aspects of food safety to address in particular microbiological risk assessment. The results of these risk assessments will provide the scientific basis for measures to reduce illness from microbiological hazards in foods.

Effective management of microbiological hazards is enhanced through the use of tools such as Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. Sound microbiological risk assessment provides an understanding of the nature of the hazard, and is a tool to set priorities for interventions. HACCP is a tool for process control through the identification of critical control points. The ultimate goal is improvement of public health, and both MRA and HACCP are means to that end.

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Scope of Food Technology

Scope of Food Technology in India and Abroad

Food has become a high-profit industry by reason of the scope it offers for value addition, particularly with the food processing industry getting recognized in India as a high-priority area.
In order to achieve the expected returns on investment through good quality and right value addition, application  of technology has become imperative, leading to an unprecedented demand for scientists, technologists and other professionals who can manage the emerging challenges of the food processing industry effectively.
This role of  professionals and trained personnel in the food industry as well as in the various R&D areas of food Science and technology is immense.
In simple words “There is huge requirement for Food Technology professionals in India and abroad”.
The concept of processed foods has caught the imagination of consumers in recent years because of their enhanced convenience , variety, nutrition and taste. The challenge therefore lies in continuously developing new variations of food items, as well as new processes that will maximize its appeal and shelf-life, and minimize the use of chemicals and preservatives.
The food processing industry covers a range of food products. These include the basic or primary foods such as wheat and rice products, sugar, oil and pulses and the processes for converting them into edible form and the processed foods such as biscuits and bakery products, confectionery, dairy products, breakfast foods, meat and fish products, fruit and vegetable products and all such items which are processed and packaged to enhance and prolong their edible life.

The swelling consumerism has seen the introduction of a range of new products like ready-to-eat snack foods, breakfast cereals, textures vegetable protein foods and so on. Different brands of the same item and attractive packaging vie for the consumers attention.

Food technology in simpler terms is the application of food science in manufacturing good products, which are safe, wholesome and nutritious. The food processing industry covers a range of food products. These include the basic or primary foods, such as wheat and rice products, sugar, oil and pulse, and the processes for converting them into edible form.

The Food technology is a branch of science in which the food science is applied in manufacturing and preservations of food products. The food technologists study the chemical, physical and microbiological makeup of the food. The food is processed, preserved, packaged and stored according to the specifications by industry and government. The research and development in food  technology has resulted into the production of safe and nutritious foods. The food processing industries manufacture a large variety of food products. They include the primary foods like rice and wheat products, oil, sugar and pulses. They are processed to convert into edible form. Food technology courses can be a good career options. There is increasing scope of food technology courses in India.

Food Science and Technology  also covers topic of special, current  interest such as :

  •  Alternative food processing technologies

  •  Environment-friendly processes

  •  Genetically modified foods

  •  Functional foods

  •  Consumer behavior

  •  Food microstructure

Food Science is the discipline in which biology, physical science, & engineering  are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of their deterioration,& the principles underlying food processing. Food Technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution & use of safe, nutritious & wholesome food.

A Food Scientist studies the physical, microbiological & chemical makeup of food. Depending on their area of specialization, food scientist may develop ways to process, preserve, pack, or store food, according to industry & government specifications & regulations.
In short Food Technology Is a science which begins with productions of the proper raw material in the farm & goes to the table of the consumer through the food processing & manufacturing industry, packaging industry, storage points &  the market. Thereby it is linked to a wide variety of sister science including biotechnology, agriculture, microbiology, engineering etc.

The importance of food science & food industry has greatly enhanced in scenario of India today. India is an agricultural country. It is self sufficient as far as productions or agricultural yield is concerned. In fact, India is the second largest producer of fruits & vegetables in the world. But due to gross insufficiency of food processing, lack of proper transport & storage facilities, etc our farmer doesn’t get the value for his toil.

Our farmer who deserves to be the’ greatest hero’ turns out to be the ‘greatest  looser’. The hope of today’s India therefore is the Food Technologist who can increase the value of our agricultural yield to a hundred fold.This is the reason that our government has offered maximum support to this industry, in the current five year plan.

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Improving the structure of high-protein foods with their peptides

 

Research In Food Technology

The structure of high-protein foods formed during heat-induced aggregation and gelation can be controlled by the addition of peptides. Depending on the need, both stronger and weaker gels can be made in this way. This is the outcome of research by NIZO scientist Hans Kosters in the framework of Top Institute Food and Nutrition and carried out at the Laboratory of Food Chemistry of Wageningen University.
High-protein foods are being developed for targeted nutrition of the elderly, who suffer from declining muscle mass, and for sports nutrition. Such foods can also play a role in combating obesity, since proteins have a similar energy level as carbohydrates but a higher satiating effect. High-protein foods tend to show defects in their structure because it is difficult to keep proteins in their native form during (heat) processing. Hans Kosters has now shown that the gel strength of these foods can be controlled by the addition of food-protein-derived peptides, as proven in model food systems. In this way, the drinkability or chewability of high-protein systems can be improved without addition of other ingredients since peptides of the same origin are used.
Kosters, who worked on the interaction of proteins with peptides for his PhD thesis, found that peptides containing a thiol group (-SH) could be employed to control the gel strength of a heat-induced whey protein system. The choice of enzymes determines which peptides are formed during hydrolysis and thereby the effect on (high-) protein structures. These results can be applied to various high-protein foods, such as muesli bars, low-fat cheese or tortillas.
Moreover, in this study, disulfide-containing peptides were found to reduce the presence of sulfurous volatiles, formed after heating β-lactoglobulin or ovalbumin solutions. Kosters:“The reduction of H2S has clear practical advantages. Adding these peptides to milk products during production before heating can help to reduce off-flavours in the final product.”
Kosters will defend his thesis on Friday 5th October at 16.00 h in the Aula of Wageningen University. Prof. Dr. Ir. Harry Gruppen and Dr. Ir. Peter Wierenga from the Laboratory of Food Chemistry at Wageningen University are the thesis supervisors.

– See more at: http://www.nizo.com/news/latest-news/65/koster/#sthash.wnOJSCey.dpuf

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3. CARTON & CARDBOARD

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 Cardboard are made up of boxes in which they are easily recycled. It is commonly used in packing materials such as eggs, to protect them from breaking. Cardboard or paperboard is normally thicker because they are formed by mashed pulp. In order to make the paperboard, the pulp may be bleached and additives added to control the required functional and visible properties. Cartons on the other hand, are mainly used to store milk, juice and etc. They are less environmental friendly compare to paperboard as they are difficult to be recycled due to its complex composition, which is made up of plastics and aluminum paper. In general cartons are made from paperboard that has been printed, creased, scored, cut and glued. 

4) GLASSglass

 Glass in the form of jars is commonly used in food storing, especially when the food is in liquid or semisolid form. Glass is formed into food packages either by the blow-and-blow process (used to form narrow-neck bottle) or by the press-and-blow process (used to form wide-mouth jar). Air is blown through the finish to expand the glass into the mold and it later colds down to become the final product.

5) POLYSTYRENE

Polystyrene is a type of plastic that is formed by the styrene. It is made from a long hydrocarbon chain, with a phenyl group attached to every other carbon atom. Polystyrene is a vinyl polymer, and it is produced by the free radical vinyl polymerization.

Polystyrene is commonly used in food packaging because it weight is light and it is resistant to moisture when then the food is hot.

FOOD PACKAGING PROCESSES

Packaging involves three main stages, primary package, secondary package and distribution/ tertiary package (Figure 1).

Primary package is in direct contact with the food product. Secondary package contains the primary package and provides physical protection for the food product in the primary package. Tertiary package contains secondary packages and functions to protect their contents and end enabling handling.

 

Example : The Packaging of Breakfast cereals
The plastic bag (primary package) contains the cereals that extend its shelf life by protecting it from unwanted moisture. Then, the paper box (secondary package) that protects the primary package and food, facilitates handling, and carries branding and labeling information to communicate with the consumers. Finally, in a bigger carton box, dozens these secondary packages are loaded into it, which later will be transported to its destination.

PURPOSES/ ADVANTAGES OF FOOD PACKAGINGnnn

Food packaging is defined as a coordinated industrial and marketing system for enclosing products in a container to meet the following needs: containment, protection, preservation, distribution, identification, communication, and convenience (Smith, J.S. et al 2004). An ideal package will enable a safe, quality food product to reach the consumer at minimum cost. It is important to note that if a package fails to function properly, much of the expense and energy put into the production and processing of the food will be wasted (Smith, J.S. et al2004).

1.Containment
– This basic function of packaging is a key factor for all other packaging functions. A food product must be contained before a package can protect and preserve.



2.Protection
– Packaging helps to protect the food from water vapor, oxygen, light, microorganism, other contaminants, and etc.

3.Preservation
– Packaging can function to preserve or to extend the shelf life of food products. It acts as a barrier to environment contaminants. Like a protection shell of the food products. In another way that packaging can preserve food when it interacts with the product to extend shelf life, known as active packaging. Active packaging, employs a packaging material that interacts with the internal gas environment to extend the shelf-life of a food. Such new technologies continuously modify the gas environment (and may interact with the surface of the food) by removing gases from or adding gases to the headspace inside a package (CSIRO Food and Nutritional Services 1994).

4.Distribution/Transportation
– The ability to efficiently unitize individual packages into larger containers is desirable for shipping and handling. Packaging is designed to protect food products from stresses encountered during transportation, eg. compression forces.



5. Identification and communication/ commercials
– Every food product has different specially designed packaging to advertise their products. Consumers recognize the desired products from the appearance of the packages, or it may even affect the decision of the consumers whether to buy it or not.

6.Convenience
–  Food products may come in liquid, solid or maybe semisolid form. Packaging must be designed to be convenient and user friendly. Convenient design features include capacities to be reused, resealed, or easily opened.

EVOLVING OF ECO-FRIENDLY PACK

Eco Friendly pack simply means containers or packaging made from components that are not harmful to the environment, in short, its biodegradable in a short amount of time. It is made from natural oil palm fibres with no additives of chemicals that are potentially harmful to our environment and us with the latest technology, machines and human geniuses!

Quick Facts: Ecofriendly- harmless to our environment; Non-toxic- no chemicals are leached out from pack to food; Microwaveable- heat tolerance without releasing poisonous chemicals when heated in microwave; Healthy for you!

DISADVANTAGED OF FOOD PACKAGING

Food packaging materials made of plastic, metals whilst providing convenience to us, the ugly side is this, it can be environmental damaging. Emissions of gas and pollutant from chemical materials can cause thinning of ozone layer which inevitable hurts our body system.

Mass production is the second disadvantage.It causes wastage of money and resources, evidently seen by the overcrowded landfills  with all the unuse / irreusable packaging materials.Thirdly,microwable containers MAY emit chemicals to food when micro-waving!Realise it was never claimed to be 100% safe? Packaging materials  proposes health threat especially  with BPA containers / Cans.

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Food Packaging Materials

INTRODUCTION
Packaging material is any material that is used to cover the product and protect it from getting dust, dirt or any other unwanted foreign materials into the product, and some in addition provides information about the product. The researchers aimed at a better method of better quality packaging materials to protect our food and other goods.

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In the early ages, people used to obtain and collect their food during hunting and fishing. For the food storage they use leaves from tress, animal skin and also woven baskets. The foods were not fully protected from contaminants and so it was not hygienic.

Some 5,000 years before Christ, man use glass to make jewelries. Later 1,000 the Egyptians used glass to make different kinds of jars for storing goods. In the middle ages the most material used for the food packaging was the wooden barrels. They were used store foods and liquids and also to protect them from the direct light. This brought change in lifestyle and so the need of the packaging materials grew.

In 1810, the French man Nicolas Appert invented a can made from glass than metal. It is said that glass can preserve food for a longer period than the metal can, so this was used during the American Civil War before it became available to the consumers. In the 19thcentury, the box cardboard was introduced, which made it easier to transport goods and it became most widely used until today.

The invention of the transparent cellophane was in 1920, and polyethylene in 1933. Aluminum foil which later came and made it possible to seal medications. From then on a large number of the packaging materials is produced and is improved every day.
TYPES OF MATERIALS

1)  PLASTIC

Plastics are group of synthetic and modified natural polymers that can be formed into a wide variety of shapes using heat.

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Plastics are made from polymers, composed of monomers. There are different types of plastics because of the different kinds of monomers produced. Some of the plastics are “functionalized” with other kinds of atoms either present in the original monomer, or added later after polymerization.

2)  METAL

A layer of oil is added over the tin to add additional protection against corrosion and to protect the tin during formation and handling. Metal is commonly used in packing of food products. Common types of metal packages used for food include three-piece cans, two-piece cans and foil pouches. Metalized films are also used in many flexible laminated packages.

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Most of the cans are made by aluminum material because they are light, strong and recyclable. The four metals that are commonly used in food packaging are steel, aluminum, tin and chromium.

 

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