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Student’s guide to study food engineering

Student's guide to study food engineering

Tarek Floyd

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Food engineering is a scientific, academic, and professional field that interprets and applies principles of engineering, science, and mathematics to food manufacturing and its processes, including food product processing, production, handling, storage, preservation, control, packaging, and distribution.

Due to its reliance on food sciences and broader engineering disciplines such as electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical, industrial, and agricultural engineering, food engineering is an interdisciplinary and narrow field.

Due to the complex nature of foodstuffs, food engineering also combines the study of more specific chemical and physical concepts such as biochemistry, microbiology, food chemistry, thermodynamics, transport phenomena, rheology, and heat transfer.

Food engineers apply this knowledge to the design, production and marketing of sustainable, safe, nutritious, healthy, attractive, affordable and high-quality products and foods, as well as the development of food systems, machinery and devices.



Student's guide to study food engineering

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History of food engineering majors:

Although food engineering is a relatively recent and developing field of study, it is based on well-established concepts and activities. The traditional focus of food engineering has been on preservation, which involves stabilizing and sterilizing foods, preventing spoilage, and preserving nutrients in food for extended periods of time.

More specific traditional activities include food drying and concentration, protective packaging, canning and freeze drying. The development of food technologies has been greatly influenced by wars and long flights, including space flights, where long-lasting and nutritious foods were essential for survival.

Other ancient activities include milling, storage, and fermentation. Although many traditional activities remain a concern and form the basis of current technologies and innovations, the focus of food engineering has recently shifted to food quality, safety, taste, health and sustainability.

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Food engineering practices and applications:

Here are some of the applications and practices used in food engineering to produce safe, healthy, delicious and sustainable food:

1.Cooling and freezing

Food distribution center with refrigeration techniques.

The main objective of refrigerating and/or freezing food is to maintain the quality and safety of foodstuffs. Refrigeration and freezing contribute to the preservation of perishable foods, and to the preservation of certain food quality factors such as visual appearance, texture, taste, flavor and

nutritional contents. In addition, freezing food slows down the growth of bacteria that may harm consumers

2.Evaporation

Evaporation is used to pre-concentrate, increase solid content, change color, and reduce water content in foods and liquid products.

This process appears mostly when processing milk, starch derivatives, coffee, fruit juices, vegetable pastes, concentrates, spices, sauces, sugar and edible oil. In addition, evaporation is used in food drying processes. The purpose of dehydration is to prevent mold growth in food, which only builds up when moisture is present.

This process can be applied to vegetables, fruits, meat and fish, for example.

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3.Packaging

Food packaging techniques are used to extend the shelf life of products, to stabilize food (preserving taste, appearance and quality), and to keep food clean, protected and attractive to the consumer. This can be achieved, for example, by packing food into cans and cans.

Since food production produces large amounts of waste, many companies are moving to eco-friendly packaging to preserve the environment and attract the attention of environmentally conscious consumers. Some types of eco-friendly packaging include plastics made from corn or potatoes, biodegradable plastics, paper products that degrade, and recycled content.

Although the transition to eco-friendly packaging has positive effects on the environment, many companies are finding other benefits such as reducing excess packaging materials, helping to attract and retain customers, and demonstrating that companies care about the environment.

4.Energy

To increase the sustainability of food processing, energy efficiency and waste heat recovery are needed. Replacing traditional energy-intensive food processes with new technologies such as thermodynamic cycles and non-thermal heating processes offers another possibility to reduce energy consumption, reduce production costs, and improve sustainability in food production.

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5.Heat transfer in food processing

Heat transfer is critical in the processing of nearly every commercial food product and is important for maintaining the health, nutritional and sensory qualities of foods. Heat transfer methods include induction, convection and radiation. [citation needed] These methods are used to create differences in the physical properties of food when freezing, baking or deep frying products, as well as when Ohmic or infrared heating is applied to food. [citation needed] These tools allow food engineers to innovate in creating and transforming food products.

6.Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS)

A Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is “a structured approach to controlling food safety risks within a company in order to ensure that a food product is safe for consumption.” Food production companies use FSMS based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). HACCP is a management system that addresses food safety by analyzing and controlling biological, chemical and physical hazards throughout the food supply chain. The ISO 22000 standard defines the requirements for FSMS.

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Student's guide to study food engineering

Fields of study food engineering:

Food engineering has been an essential part of teaching, training, and research in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology since its inception. Related courses include:

  • principles of food engineering
  • measurement and control engineering
  • food engineering systems
  • food factory facilities
  • Building materials and packaging

Postgraduate programs in Nutritional Engineering:

There is a large range of master’s degrees and research studies at the postgraduate level.

Examples include a direct master’s degree in food science, as well as a master’s degree in advanced diet practices, advanced food safety, food innovation, food policy, food security and development, and nutrition.





Field of work for food engineering graduates:

Food engineers design and develop systems for the production, processing, distribution and storage of food and agricultural products.

Applications include food safety and quality, biological identification, pharmaceuticals, and eco-friendly packaging.

Graduates are employed by industry and consulting firms. For students who take advantage of the many internship or research assistance opportunities available in the department, career placement is nearly 100%.

Entry level salaries for recent graduates ranged from $45,000 to $60,000.

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The most important areas in which a nutrition engineer can work:

  • production circuit.
  • Quality control.
  • food laboratories.
  • Food manufacturing quality control.
  • Food store management.
  • microbiology laboratories.
  • Hospitals.
  • Clinics specialized in dietetics.
  • Factories and factories of ready-made food.
  • The field of scientific research.
  • Academic teaching field.



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