Conclusion

The examples given here give some ideas how food technology may be incorporated in the structure of decisionmaking models. When there are many alternatives to choose from, the effort required to search for a best one often leads to more profit. The business of food technology and the food technologist in this decision-making realm is to constrain the set of alternatives. The objectives of the organization can then drive the decision-making process to the choice of an appropriate alternative. This optimization philosophy helps keep all participants in food industry decision making pulling in the same overall direction, even though interests and expertise of the individuals may be vastly different.

What is seldom investigated is this connection between the technology of food and the decision making done by food industry managers. If this connection is managed properly, important consequences for the efficiency and profitability of the business can be realized. The procurement of materials and the production, marketing, and distribution of food products all depend on the nature of food as material and the consumer's perception of that material as each spoonful is consumed. Approaching this from an optimization perspective—arraying the alternatives, measuring the alternatives, and choosing a desirable one—is a useful and profitable way to manage.

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