Graduate students in Food Chemistry use techniques in applied biochemistry, molecular sciences, polymer chemistry, and enzymology to study the composition, nutritional value, quality, safety, and functionality of foods and food constituents. Emphasis is placed on the molecular components of foods and their interactions.
Food Chemists quantify, characterize, and manipulate the components of foods. They study the kinetics of enzymes to improve food quality, safety and nutrient content. They perform research to understand the physicochemical properties of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and other polymers in foods. They improve functionality and develop new uses for food polymers. They use techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology to explain the availability of nutrients in foods. They evaluate the effects of processing on the nutritive content, quality, stability and value of foods.
Food Chemists are employed by industry, government, academic institutions and professional organizations. In the food industry, food chemists perform tests to determine the quality and value of existing and new food products. Food Chemists participate in research teams to improve foods and to develop new products. They work to fortify processed foods with vitamins, minerals, and other additives to enhance the nutritional value and quality of the food supply. In academic institutions food scientists teach, perform research, and are involved in extension activities. Food Chemists work for regulatory agencies and analytical laboratories to ensure that foods are safe and nutritious for people of all ages.
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