Engineering, a science capable of improving food quality

Engineering, a science capable of improving food quality

Scientific methods help improve food quality and productivity. The demand for healthy products with the least impact on the environment has increased in recent years. The engineering company Infinitia has professional experts in food technology and a specific laboratory to conduct training sessions for tasters.

It is not science fiction if we combine the words food and technology in the same sentence. The products we put on our table come from different origins such as the field, factories or, yes, from a laboratory. And it does not have to be harmful. Disciplines such as chemistry, biology, physics… even mathematics become essential to design products and processes in the food industry. The food industry is so important that in Infinitia we have an expert team dedicated to it.

In the development of food engineering, the role of microbiology and the application of knowledge from other sciences such as mechanical or agricultural engineering to food materials is a priority. This is because food is treated from this perspective, as materials. Our colleagues Regina de Diego and Elena Díaz, a specialist in food engineering and a nutritionist specializing in food technology, know this well.

The main function of food engineers and technologists, engineers and technologists in our case, focuses on contributing their knowledge and basic technological capabilities to the production chain and market introduction. All this taking into account criteria oriented to the profitability and optimization of products or services, without neglecting their quality and nutritional values.

Food engineering concentrates a diverse variety of activities in which food is involved in any type and in all its possible forms. “We can study the degree of affection of new technologies from the nutritional or sensory point of view, for example,” explains Elena Díaz. The state of the food is not an obstacle, but just another possibility, “it is possible to analyze raw elements or those found at any point in the value chain,” she adds.

The food technology team can develop its work at different levels related to quality, conservation, design, formulation or presentation. The availability and use of modern tools, the necessary instruments and in-depth knowledge to offer or improve new products or processes is essential. In this area, manufacturing is not the main objective, but the support that Infinitia represents in the value chain for a company.

The current needs and demands of the population are constantly changing, although at present it is healthy food with the least negative impact on the environment that are experiencing the greatest boom. In order to reach these objectives, set by a company or the consumer himself, food engineering has at its disposal the study from different characteristics such as: nutritional, physical-chemical, microbiological and sensory.

“It is possible to design a treatment and provide greater safety to a food,” says Regina. In this way, through forensic engineering, of which Infinitia is a specialist, it would be feasible to “extend the shelf life”, thus multiplying its usefulness and performance.

It is important to highlight the sensory aspect because… don’t we sometimes eat by sight or by memory? At Infinitia we have a specific laboratory where we can carry out training sessions for tasters, as well as calibrations aimed at quantifying and examining the perception of the end consumer.

Through prototyping it is possible to validate and adapt a food to the healthiest criteria and thus convert it into products that contain fewer harmful elements and are more digestive for the body. Food thus opens up an almost unlimited range of possibilities for work in which different methodologies can be combined according to the taste of those who request them.

The food engineering and technologies team at Infinitia

 

Regina de Diego: “The most interesting thing is the multitude of challenges that food presents when we talk about innovation. Every food is different and presents unique characteristics, which we are obliged to know in depth if we want to create or improve any new advantage. Our mission is to adapt any processing as best as possible to benefit the shelf life and nutritional quality of the product and to positively impact the producer.”

 

Elena Díaz: “I enjoy putting my knowledge of nutrition and dietetics to work in food technology. We believe that food innovation is essential to improve processes at all rungs of the food industry and to ultimately offer better options to the consumer in terms of health, sensory perception and respect for the environment. Therefore, in each project we work to understand the client’s needs, orienting our activities in the development of methodologies, processes or formulations that offer benefits to both our client and the final consumer”.

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