What is Food Science?
Food science has gained popularity due to television shows such as Food Detectives and Good Eats which are both shown on the Food Network. According to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), food science is the study of the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of food in order to better understand food processes and improve food products for the general public. Food science includes aspects from biology, chemical engineering and biochemistry.
Food Science Experiments
The Journal of Food Science, volume 6, issue 1, has a wonderful collection of food science experiments and resources for teachers. The Teacher’s Resource Guide contains six experiments in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics.
Biology Food Science Lessons
The first biology food science lesson, provided by Katherine M. J. Swanson, Ph.D., and teaches osmosis. This lesson will take one-to-two 45-minute periods to complete. During this biology food science experiment students will study osmotic pressure and a semi-permeable membrane. Students will replicate osmotic conditions within a cell when it is placed in a highly salted or sugared solution, then the students will apply what they have learned to in terms of the effectiveness of traditional food preservation.
The second biology food science lesson, provided by Pina M. Fratamico, Ph.D., teaches food forensics. This science experiment will take between two-to-three 45-minutes to complete. In this biology food science experiment students will research pathogens that cause food borne illnesses. Students will diagnose probable causes of illness based of descriptions from patient case student cards, and recommend how to avoid the illnesses in the future.
Chemistry Food Science Lessons
The first chemistry food science experiment, provided by Peter Jamieson, explores reactions caused by temperature change. Students will dissolve polyols and salts while measuring the temperature change during endo and exothermic reactions. This chemistry based food science lesson can be completed in one 45-minute period.
The second chemistry food science experiment, provided by Nirav Pandya, M.S., explores the chemistry of acids for pickling. This lesson can be completed in one-to-two 45-minute periods. Students will prepare three graphs based on the results recorded when they titrate three unknown solutions. When the students compare the graphs they will be able to see the reserve acidity of weak acids, and be able to select the best acid type for pickling.
Physics Food Science Lessons
The first physics food science experiment, provided by Maria Pubino, Ph.D., will teach students who to design packaging to protect a jelly sandwich during the shipping process. This physics food science lesson will take three-to-four 45-minute periods to complete.
The second physics food science experiment is a splat test for viscosity provided by Amy Rowley. This physics food science experiment measures viscosity of various liquids and can be completed in two-to-three 45-minute periods.
Lesson Plans and Experiment Details
The lesson plans and experiment details for the above experiments can be found for free HERE.
What is Food Science & Technology? http://www.ift.org/Knowledge-Center/Learn-About-Food-Science/What-is-Food-Science.aspx
Teacher’s Resource Guide: The Science and Scientists Behind the Food…, Connect your students to this dynamic real world application of chemistry, biology and physics. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1541-4329.2007.00019.x/pdf