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Introduction Food analysis is the discipline dealing with the development, application and study of analytical procedures for characterizing the properties of foods and their constituents. These analytical procedures are used to provide information about a wide variety of different characteristics of foods, including their composition, structure, physicochemical properties and sensory attributes.
This information is critical to our rational understanding of the factors that determine the properties of foods, as well as to our ability to economically produce foods that are consistently safe, nutritious and desirable and for consumers to make informed choices about their diet.
The objective of this course is to review the basic principles of the analytical procedures commonly used to analyze foods and to discuss their application to specific food components, e. The following questions will be addressed in this introductory section: Why do they analyze foods?
What types of properties are measured? How does one choose an appropriate analytical technique for a particular food? Reasons for Analyzing Foods Foods are analyzed by scientists working in all of the major sectors of the food industry including food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, analytical service laboratories, government laboratories, and University research laboratories.
The various purposes that foods are analyzed are briefly discussed in this section.
Government Regulations and Recommendations Government regulations and recommendations are designed to maintain the general quality of the food supply, to ensure the food industry provides consumers with foods that are wholesome and safe, to inform consumers about the nutritional composition of foods so that they can make knowledgeable choices about their diet, to enable fair competition amongst food companies, and to eliminate economic fraud.
Each of these government agencies is responsible for regulating particular sectors of the food industry and publishes documents that contain detailed information about the regulations and recommendations pertaining to the foods produced within those sectors.
These documents can be purchased from the government or obtained on-line from the appropriate website. Standards Government agencies have specified a number of voluntary and mandatory standards concerning the composition, quality, inspection, and labeling of specific food products.
These regulations specify the type and amounts of ingredients that certain foods must contain if they are to be called by a particular name on the food label. For some foods there is a maximum or minimum concentration of a certain component that they must contain, e.
Standards of quality have been defined for certain foods e. These standards state how full a container must be to avoid consumer deception, as well as specifying how the degree of fill is measured. A number of foods, including meat, dairy products and eggs, are graded according to their quality, e.
There are clear definitions associated with these descriptors that products must conform to before they can be given the appropriate label. Specification of the grade of a food product on the label is voluntary, but many food manufacturers opt to do this because superior grade products can be sold for a higher price.
The government has laboratories that food producers send their products too to be tested to receive the appropriate certification. This service is requested and paid for by the food producer.
Nutritional Labeling Inthe US government passed the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act NLEAwhich revised the regulations pertaining to the nutritional labeling of foods, and made it mandatory for almost all food products to have standardized nutritional labels.
One of the major reasons for introducing these regulations was so that consumers could make informed choices about their diet. Nutritional labels state the total calorific value of the food, as well as total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, vitamins, calcium and iron.
The label may also contain certain FDA approved health claims based on links between specific food components and certain diseases e. The information provided on the label can be used by consumers to plan a nutritious and balanced diet, to avoid over consumption of food components linked with health problems, and to encourage greater consumption of foods that are beneficial to health.
Authenticity The price of certain foods is dictated by the quality of the ingredients that they contain. For example, a packet of premium coffee may claim that the coffee beans are from Columbia, or the label of an expensive wine may claim that it was produced in a certain region, using a certain type of grapes in a particular year.
How do we verify these claims? There are many instances in the past where manufacturers have made false claims about the authenticity of their products in order to get a higher price. It is therefore important to have analytical techniques that can be used to test the authenticity of certain food components, to ensure that consumers are not the victims of economic fraud and that competition among food manufacturers is fair.
Food Inspection and Grading The government has a Food Inspection and Grading Service that routinely analyses the properties of food products to ensure that they meet the appropriate laws and regulations.
Hence, both government agencies and food manufacturers need analytical techniques to provide the appropriate information about food properties. The most important criteria for this type of test are often the accuracy of the measurements and the use of an official method.
The government has recently carried out a survey of many of the official analytical techniques developed to analyze foods, and has specified which techniques must be used to analyze certain food components for labeling purposes.
Techniques have been chosen which provide accurate and reliable results, but which are relatively simple and inexpensive to perform. Food Safety One of the most important reasons for analyzing foods from both the consumers and the manufacturers standpoint is to ensure that they are safe.
It would be economically disastrous, as well as being rather unpleasant to consumers, if a food manufacturer sold a product that was harmful or toxic.Forests and Rangelands is an active, cooperative effort of the United States Department of the Interior (DOI), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and their land management agencies.
ANALYSIS OF FOOD PRODUCTS. 1. Introduction. Food analysis is the discipline dealing with the development, application and study of analytical procedures for characterizing the properties of foods and their constituents.
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