NIFA’ Food Science and Technology program funds research projects and conducts leadership activities aimed at improving the processes, safety, and quality of foods.
Food Science and Technology research areas include:
- developing novel food processing technologies for better quality and nutritional value;
- improving separation and purification of high-value components;
- advancing computation and mathematical modeling to aid food product and process design;
- understanding reaction kinetics for more efficient food manufacturing and preservation of nutrients;
- understanding molecular structure and functionality of foods;
- advancing sensing technologies for improved monitoring of product quality in food manufacturing;
- advancing polymer science for food packaging materials and systems;
- improving efficiency of bio-catalytic processes and biotechnologies; and
- improving process efficiency and the use of resources such as energy and water.
A related funding opportunity — National Research Initiative: Improving Food Quality — provides federal financial support to expand scientific and engineering knowledge that aids in the development of highly nutritious, performance enhancing, and affordable foods that exhibit superior sensory attributes.
Food product development is driven by consumer needs and the global market. An increased demand for better food quality and international competition calls for a greater understanding and application of physical, chemical, and biological principles that govern food product formulation and quality. Food quality is broadly defined to include the aspects such as nutritional value, healthful implication, palatability, and convenience.