Final Remarks

Figure 12. Representation of potential energy levels during the process of a given endothermic reaction.

It is important for the food technologist to attain a complete understanding of the principal processing variables involved in a general wide array of types of food processing techniques combined with a general knowledge of the kinetics of degradation of food quality characteristics. Although not discussed due to time constraints, the effect of storage conditions, whether ambient, refrigerated, frozen, or under controlled atmosphere, depending on its mode of preprocessing, is also an area of importance in maintaining quality of processed foods. Although generally many of the deleterious reactions occurring in foods are significantly slowed down at reduced temperatures, mechanisms of reaction can be altered such that prediction and optimization of these conditions becomes even more of a challenge. It should be kept in mind that some of the new emerging technologies in food processing will require more basic studies in order to predict retention of vitamins and organoleptic properties. Understanding of the mechanisms involved in reactions leading to the destruction of a compound or quality character should facilitate development of kinetics information with wider applicability. This will facilitate the optimization process of process and storage conditions and provide guidelines to determine formulation or fortification protocols of products leading to a higher nutritional value. It will also facilitate and encourage the development of new technologies for future food processing systems needed not only to feed the ever-expanding world population but also to ensure a high-quality nutritious food supply (98,99).

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