What Is Food Microbiology

Topics: Bacteria, Microbiology, Archaea Pages: 3 (852 words) Published: February 19, 2012
What is Food Microbiology

Food microbiology is the study of food micro-organisms; how we can identify and culture them, how they live, how some infect and cause disease and how we can make use of their activities. Microbes are single-cell organisms so tiny that millions can fit into the eye of a needle. They are the oldest form of life on earth. Microbe fossils date back more than 3.5 billion years to a time when the Earth was covered with oceans that regularly reached the boiling point, hundreds of millions of years before dinosaurs roamed the earth. The field of food microbiology is a very broad one, encompassing the study of microorganisms which have both beneficial and deleterious effects on the quality and safety of raw and processed foods. Food science is a discipline concerned with all aspects of food - beginning after harvesting, and ending with consumption by the consumer. It is considered one of the agricultural sciences, and it is a field which is entirely distinct from the field of nutrition. In the U.S., food science is typically studied at land-grant universities. Examples of the activities of food scientists include the development of new food products, design of processes to produce these foods, choice of packaging materials, shelf-life studies, sensory evaluation of the product with potential consumers, microbiological and chemical testing. Food scientists in universities may study more fundamental phenomena that are directly linked to the production of a particular food product. Food scientists are generally not directly involved with the creation of genetically modified (bio-engineered) foods. Some of the subdisciplines of food science: Food safety, Food engineering, Product development, Sensory analysis, Food chemistry. The primary tool of microbiologists is the ability to identify and quantitate food-borne microorganisms; however, the inherent inaccuracies in enumeration processess, and the natural variation found in all bacterial...
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