Food engineering plays a significant role in food production to achieve a high quality. Increasingly discriminating consumer taste has resulted in pressures to improve the flavor quality of food products at ever higher stages: from simple combinations of basic taste components; to the“flavor”stage, at which basic taste sensations and flavors are combined; to the stage of “combined taste, ”which incorporates food textures; to the still higher stage of integrated taste, in which cultural and psychological factors play a role. These trends have created demand for food products that offer superior characteristics at the highest stages of food quality. Food production at such levels will require approaches based on new food engineering. As pointed out by Dr. Toshimasa Yano, Emeritus Professor at the University of Tokyo, food production faces numerous challenges: 1) the unpredictability of physical properties of raw materials; 2) an over-dependence on sensory tests and insufficiency of subjectivity in quality evaluations; 3) the simultaneous occurrence of numerous changes during food processing. This paper will seek to address the role of food engineering in improving quality in food production processes. The examples used to illustrate these issues will include the following: 1) a quantitative evaluation of the kneaded state of bread dough; 2) quantitative identification of factors influencing the intensity of retort sterilization; and 3) quantitative determination of flavor component dissipation during spray-drying.
In August, 2004, the General Council of WTO adopted the framework for establishing modalities in agriculture negotiation which had been at a deadlock. However, the framework does not show numerical targets and formulas. The framework is no more than a patchwork of main member governments' proposals and it leaves many important problems unsolved. Because there are wide range of views and interests among the member governments in all three pillars of the negotiation - market access, domestic support and export competition. Many governments that want to export their products favour much greater liberalization in agricultural trade, but most governments do not want to open up their markets under pressure to protect their farmers. Rapid increase of the number of regional trade agreements and voices of many developing member countries also make the WTO agriculture negotiation difficult.
Recycling of food-by-products is very important subject. Many trials have been done to reuse by-product, however, almost trials have not been to install the commercial process due to their treatment costs and their qualities. To convert biodegradable stuff is one of their trail fields. However, their products have disadvantage of high cost and low properties against water-resistance. To minimize costs and to improve waterproof property, we used zein-containing corn gluten meal and succeeded in making solid materials by injection molding. We turned the materials into pellets with an extruder, and then molded the pellets into seedling culture pots with an injection molder. This study project was carried out jointly with Showa Sangyo Co., The Japan Steel Works and National Food Research Institute. In this project, we were able to successfully reduce costs and to obtain solid molded products for practical use by adopting the injection molding method, which has many advantages in productivity (low costs, high moldability, flexibility to make various shapes of molds) . At present, we are working to assess the biodegradable molded material actually applied and to improve materials for different purposes.
This report of basic study will discuss a technique of heating solid foods or high viscous foods in transit on a conveyor for possible commercial applications. By using model solutions with adjusted ingredients, we have found that: 1) Continuous radiation against the model solutions in transit from plural units of microwave generators with different heating characteristics at a relatively short irradiation distance of 45mm causes dispersion of edge effects and is effective for uniform temperature within the solutions. 2) Scanning a top surface of the model solutions by wave guides is effective for uniform temperature within the solutions as they are exposed to electric fields of relatively high intensity. 3) With a distilled water immersing method, a 2mm thick water jacket is an optimum condition for minimizing the edge effects. This indicates that use of the distilled water immersing method is effective in continuous high temperature short time sterilization of foods that call for highly accurate thermal control. On the basis of these results, we will plan designing a system of continuous sterilization of solid foods at temperature of 100 degrees Celsius and over, and continue basic studying behavior of microwaves and microwave sterilization with various solid foods.
As a method for monitoring biological cleanliness of environmental air, measurement of total airborne particles, consisting of both viable and nonviable particles, is often employed for the following reasons: (1) it is simple, easy, and does not require long incubation time or tedious procedures associated with direct viable count methods, (2) it allows real-time monitoring, and (3) it provides results that can be compared with the data in NASA standard applicable to a broad range of air cleanliness. In recent years, however, it is becoming clear that the relation between the measured concentration of microorganisms and that of total particles in the air does not always agree well with the NASA standard. In this study, we compared concentrations of microorganisms and total particles in the packaging area and the office building of a beverage plant, paying attention to particle size distribution characteristics. It was found that the size distribution of airborne microorganisms could be described by logarithmic normal distribution better than by the Junge distribution commonly used for characterizing size distributions of fine particles. Our results also suggested that, by establishing correlations between viable counts and the total particles for each specific environment, monitoring of total airborne particles would be an effective means for biological cleanliness management of environmental air.
Development of prebiotics and probiotics would be beneficial for human health, and several kinds of oligosaccharides have been commercially available recently, as food additives with a promoting effect of Bifidobacterial growth in gut. But few studies on regulation of oligosaccharide assimilation by the bacteria have been reported. In this report we have shown that utilization of cellobiose by Bifidobacterium breve 203 is under plural regulations: production of β-glucosidase I of the strain was repressed by glucose and induced by cellobiose, hardly assimilable oligosaccharide by this strain. While after long-term acclimation to cellobiose the strain came to be assimilable of cellobiose and a mutant showed higher β-glucosidase I activity than that of the parental strain constitutively, indicating both of the regulation have released in the acclimated mutant.
This research is the subsequent report of the new drying method by effectively using Far-Infrared Radiation, which maintains the original quality in a short dehydration time. Vacuum freeze drying has the advantages of a minimal level of quality deterioration and good rehydration. However, it takes a long time to dehydrate thick and bulky shapes, and the energy required for freezing increases production costs more than other methods. It was examined by the former report for the scallop which was large seafood. In this research, the result of the scallop was compared for the shrimp and the squid which generally is the popular seafood. As for the quality after drying, the shrimp had a few changes in the color, hardness, form and good rehydration that it found that it was the most suitable for Far-Infrared Radiation vacuum drying method. A squid found whether quality deterioration was remarkable.