Preface

The preface to the First Edition of this encyclopedia provided a detailed account of its breadth and aims. This breadth is maintained in the Second Edition and enlarged to include more of the associated areas of food science. A number of these areas are of current prime importance, including food safety, functional foods, and neutraceuti-cals. Seventy years ago, when the discipline of food science and technology was first introduced, the accepted definition was the science concerned with food "from the farm gate to the consumer." It later became obvious that many of the conditions associated with conventional agricultural production practices had a definite impact on the quality and quantity of the resultant food, so the lines between agricultural production and food science and technology became blurred.

The above definition of food science and technology was appropriate for food production techniques in the early part of the twentieth century. We were primarily dependent on fresh fruits and vegetables in season and meats, augmented by commodities which could be easily stored such as grains, root crops, dried fruits and fermented foods, and beverages. The "New England boiled dinner," composed of corned beef, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, turnips, onions, and parsnips, was a good example. A major change from a seasonal concept of food supply to a processed system occurred in the 1920s with the development of food preservation techniques such as canning, freezing, dehydration, and chemical preservation. When this was combined with developments in packaging, storage, transportation, and consumer marketing, the rate of change to a processed-food society was speeded up. Today we have the advantages of a stable processed food supply combined with fresh fruits and vegetables produced locally and also shipped in from other countries. This has produced the best of both systems, but it has some problems. The concentration of production, packaging, storage, and transportation into large units has increased the possibility of contamination with chemicals and microorganisms, a major concern of regulatory officials; it may also be a source of concern for readers of this encyclopedia. Hopefully, the sections on food safety, estimation of risk, interpretation of risk, and management of risk will allay the fears for the safety of the global food supply.

Another change in the concept of food science and technology occurred in the 1950s with increased concern over adequate nutrition in food and the nutrition delivery sys tem. The science of nutrition at that point had developed to the point where meaningful predictions could be made on the effect of components in the food supply on the health and well-being of the populace. This led to increased emphasis on food processors to maintain the nutritive value of their products in order to supply the "Acceptable Daily Intake" recommended by governmental and other agencies. However, maintenance of nutrients already present in food was not enough, and the science of fortification was developed primarily to prevent the development of conditions which could lead to a deterioration in the overall health of the individual. This concept was enlarged to encompass components of the diet which were not necessarily related to deficiencies and disease but were related to overall well-being. This led to the concept of "Neutraceuticals," components which combine nutritive and pharmaceutical properties. The term "functional foods" was also introduced to describe components which have a technological function in foods as well as a nutritive or health benefit. Both areas are rapidly expanding and may be of interest to readers of this encyclopedia.

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