Food science is a dynamic discipline that not only regulates the conformation of food items to statutory standards but also focuses on comparisons between different products, research into new product development and much more. A fully-fledged food analyst has a wide perspective on the food industry; they perform nutritional analysis; they assess taste attributes and in short ensure that the outgoing food product is safe for human consumption.
Food Analysis and Government Authorities
In the United States, the food industry is under strict surveillance under FDA, that acts a watchdog of quality, safety and affordability of products. Strict requirements of food analysis have been laid down that need to be followed by food manufacturing and processing companies.
- Product analysts can draw valuable inferences from EAM (Elemental Analysis Manual) for Food and Related Products, where guidelines for food analysis have been stated in copious detail.
- Prudent analysis of food items will ensure compliance of various rules and regulations laid out by authoritative bodies like the National Marine Fisheries Service, the United States Department of Agriculture, among others that monitor and regulate food products.
A multi-dimensional perspective of food product analysis
Pathwwway Gaming believes that the essence of food analysis lies in empowering and educating the consumer and hand-holding him to make resourceful and knowledgeable dietary choices. Food analysis is multi-faceted in addressing the following issues.
- Rising levels of ailments like juvenile diabetes, cancer and obesity, where the fast-food era through its cheese-laden fried snacks can be killers.
- Unscrupulous ways of manoeuvring statutory compliances with regards to pricing can make healthy food far from affordable and product analysis can help in nailing the culprits.
Texture analysis in food industry
Texture testing of food items can assess the mechanical and physical properties of food industry inputs, ingredients and raw materials. Texture analysis helps the food industry by ensuring
- The food items packed meet the desirable standards of cohesiveness, extendibility, viscosity, firmness or toughness.
- Those attributes of the product that can be enjoyed by touch, feel and taste are maintained intact. For example, kids love the feel of crispiness in their fritters.
- Texture analysis techniques also come of use in food related R & D activities and can be the foundation of developing new food items.
How Product analysis helps in food product development
To enjoy the bounties of nature, every food analyst allocates time and energy to identify new properties in existing raw materials or develop new ways of processing them.
- They perform tests like preference tests and the triangle tests to ensure that newly conceived prototypes of food products are consumable in a healthy way.
- Food analysis makes dearer food items reachable for the poor and needy, thereby sharing the responsibility to erase hunger and malnutrition from Earth.
Analysis links economic food production
Product analysis also looks at economic and nutritive ways of producing a product by studying the production processes. Food production becomes economical when innovative production processes evolve.
- Food analysis scores out wastage of raw materials used and can help passing on the economies to the end consumers by cutting down on production costs.
- Major food corporations employ food analysts to study customer preferences for a competitive product. This results in innovation that in turn benefits the ecosystem as a whole.
Aids in understanding food components
Quality of food is the function of its components and their nutritive values. Food analysis determines that nature and proportion of different components used are safe and healthy.
- A balanced diet is the right fusion of basic components like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals etc. Only scientific analysis can ensure that components are used in the right way.
- Freshness of food components is a major determinant of quality and taste of the final product. A food product analyst can ensure that fresh components are used in production.
Ensuring proper investigation of food properties
The important characteristics of food are taken into rigorous analysis when a food item is being tested. The complexity of food chemicals makes them tough for analysis. A food property analysis would include:
- Testing the food items for molecular composition, their types and concentration.
- A study into how different components in food products are structurally organized (molecular, microscopic and macroscopic structure) so that when the end user tastes it, he relishes the same taste as he had expected.
- An analysis into the effects of processing conditions that are unique to each product such as storage peculiarities, heating, deep-freezing or spray drying.
Shelf life testing
Food analysis helps in calculation of the expected shelf life that each product commands and how long it takes for the product to become stale.
- Analysis helps the quality control procedure of food processing companies and exposes flaws if any that reduce the shelf life of the product.
- A food analyst researches into innovative ways of packing and storing the products so that their shelf life stands enhanced by testing for the toxins that contaminate them.
Compliance with labelling and packaging requirements
The label is an informer to the society of how much they consume and in what quantities. Especially in the case of non-standardized and proprietary food items, it is only the label that people rely on for safe consumption of food.
- Food analysis also includes that each label must contain the chart of nutrition with specific disclosure of preservatives and additives used. Furthermore, the food industry uses label to empower the consumers on the price, batch number and date of manufacture and expiry.
- Packaging is very important when it comes to food items. The quality of packaging determines various attributes like freshness, safety and moisture retention in products.
In conclusion of this bird’s eye view of food product analysis from Pathwwway Gaming, what comes to light is that the food industry stands immensely benefited from analysis of food items. The entire ecosystem can breathe easy with regards to the calories they consume, the duration they store their foods, the quantity they feed their young ones with and lastly with the chemical composition of food.