Food Engineering As Related To Other Disciplines And Professional Societies

Food science and food technology are related and overlapping disciplines that have similar basic science require ments, such as general and organic chemistry, physics, mathematics through calculus, and microbiology. Food science courses emphasize the relationships between basic science courses and the various aspects of food production, processing, and preservation. Separations—differentiation among career aims and goals—usually occur after college graduation and the entrance into graduate school or the industrial and commercial job market. Food scientists ordinarily concentrate on the basic chemistry and microbiology of foods; food technologists usually are more involved in the applied aspects of handling and processing foods. Many basic researchers specialize in the biological relationships of foods and must have particularly strong backgrounds in biology, biochemistry, and microbiology.

The third member of the team is the food engineer. Engineers professionally involved in the food industry must have the food science and technology background to actively and productively participate in maintaining an adequate food supply for the world's burgeoning population.

The close work and professional relationships among food scientists, food technologists, and food engineers are demonstrated by the extent to which they maintain memberships in cross-disciplinary professional societies. The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFT) was founded in 1939. Several decades later, a food engineering division was formed in the IFT. Many of the founding members of the division were food technologists who, through experience or further training, had learned applied engineering related to food processing. Today, the food engineer has found more direct relationships with fellow engineers in professional engineering societies, including the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the American Society of Chemical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and other scientific and professional organizations. The food engineer is now established as an indispensible contributor to the further scientific and technological development and growth of our most important scientific and industrial enterprise.

University of Massachusetts

Amherst, Massachusetts

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