Food is the basic human need, responsible for the normal performance of important functions that are crucial for human growth. Once consumed, it is mainly responsible for the production of energy, heat, replenishment, and growth material for the body. Food should not be considered only as a source of energy but it is a cost-effective way to prevent diseases. Therefore, it is mandatory to define its nutritional and commodity value. The property of food constituents and their chemical composition can be determined through analytical chemistry. Moreover, chemical modifications that the constituents of the food undergo during manufacturing can also be evaluated. Applications of analytical chemistry in food processing consists of-
- Determine the quality of a product and its nutritional value
- Analysis of microbiological properties
- Identify secondary metabolites beneficial for human health
- Identify the effect on food production, processing, and preparation
- Study of food rheology, morphology, and structure
- Reveal adulterations
- Product tampering
- Characterization of lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals
- Evaluate sensory characteristics
- Ensure food safety and traceability
- Identify xenobiotic substances potentially harmful to human health
Some of the traditional analytical techniques are paper chromatography, ion-exchange chromatography, gel-filtration chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance, affinity chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, paper electrophoresis, gel electrophoresis, isoelectric focusing, spectrophotometer, gas chromatography, and centrifuge. But there is continuous effort to enhance food properties or to create new products suitable for fulfilling the needs of consumers and for ensuring safety, health, and well-accepted standards.
Due to the rising demand of increasing population movement of food and related raw materials worldwide, scientists are making big efforts to improve the analytical tools such as strategies of production, transformation, and distribution of foods. These steps can effectively control the quality and safety of human foods in the near future. These traditional techniques are unable to continuously monitor the main food components, additives, and contaminants. Thus, advanced and unique techniques are required for the analysis of chemical components in food. These techniques can offer better qualitative and quantitative results while increasing the sensitivity, precision, specificity, and speed of analysis. One of the key steps of analytical chemistry in food processing is sample preparation which goal is to minimize laboratory solvent use, hazardous waste production, and moreover, is cost-effective.
Being environmentally friendly, supercritical fluid extraction and subcritical water extraction are two excellent techniques for obtaining functional food ingredients. Separation techniques such as capillary electrophoresis can detect genetically modified organisms. This technique can also analyze contaminants and food-borne pathogens. Spectroscopic techniques can give information on the structural, physical-chemical, qualitative, and quantitative properties of the compounds.
SNI Publications invites you to share your knowledge and recent advancement on Food Biochemistry by publishing their work with the Journal of Advanced Biochemistry also a small piece of information that can be shared here itself in the comment section.