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How do I Combine my Loves of Food and Science?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 April 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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While they might not seem like an obvious pairing, food and science actually go together like apple pie and ice cream. People who love food and are interested in science can pursue a number of careers which blend food and science, ranging from formulating nutritional recommendations on the basis of analysis of foods and nutritional needs to creating new cooking techniques. A number of colleges and universities offer educational programs to people interested in the science of food.

Food science is itself a very large discipline involving food and science which spans a number of topics from the process of growing and raising food to the packaging used for food products. Individuals interested in the source of their food may be interested in the agricultural arm of food science, studying farming techniques, developing improvements on these techniques, and looking at historical farming practices to learn more about the science of farming. Other topics in food science include food safety, molecular gastronomy, designing efficient food packaging, and a variety of other subjects of interest.

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Specific branches of the sciences can be applied to foods by people who want to mix food and science. Molecular chemistry is a topic of interest because it explains the interactions which take place in food on a molecular level, both while the food is growing and while it is being processed and prepared for consumption. Science can be used to explain everything from the perfect temperature for cooking an egg at sea level to the reasons why fruits brown after cutting, and how browning can be prevented.

Science is also at work behind many dairy products. Cheese lovers may be delighted to learn that a number of universities and food science organizations are studying the microorganisms involved in the production of cheese with the goal of learning about what makes cheeses unique, and the study of cheese also includes the study of cheese caves, farming techniques, and a variety of related topics. Microorganisms are also of interest in breweries and wineries, for food lovers who are fans of fermented beverages.

Psychology is also a science which can be applied to foods, as people often have a complex psychological relationship with food. Likewise, neurology can be used to examine how people perceive food. People can also combine science and food in the study of nutrition, examining the needs of people from developing infants to hardworking athletes, and studying the nutritional contents of various foods. Educational institutions with a food science department are usually happy to help students design a course of study which suits their interests in food and science, whether those interests lie in the cooking techniques of ancient civilizations or the development of techniques to make slaughtering more efficient and humane.

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