Food Science Terms - F

Facultative: Bacteria that can grow either with or without free oxygen present. 

Fat: Chemical unit resulting from the chemical combination or esterification of one unit of glycerine with three units of fatty acids(triglyceride). When referring to fat, under normal ambient temperatures, the product would be in solid form. 

Fat bloom: Result of inadequate tempering or temperature abuse of a properly tempered chocolate. Visible as a dull white film on the surface of the chocolate with the possibility of a soft or crumbling texture on the interior. A visual and textural defect only. The product is fine to eat. 

Fat replacers: Developed to duplicate the taste and texture of fat, but contain fewer calories per gram than fat. Fat replacers generally fall into three categories: carbohydrate-, protein- or fat-based. The ingredients that are used to replace fat depend on how the food product will be eaten or prepared. For example, not all fat replacer ingredients are heat stable. Thus, the fat replacer that worked well in a salad dressing may not work well in a muffin mix. 

Fat-soluble vitamins: Nutrients that dissolve in fats or oils but not in water. These vitamins are often found in foods that contain fat, and fat may be necessary for their absorption from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. People who eat very little fat may have difficulty getting enough of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. 

Fatty acid: molecule made up of carbon and hydrogen, which can be unsaturated or saturated; basic building block of oils and fats

Fatty acids: Chemical unit occurring naturally, either singly or combined, and consisting of strongly linked carbon and hydrogen atoms in a chain like structure. At the end of the chain is a reactive acid group composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. 

FCC: Food Chemicals Codex. 

Fermentable carbohydrates: There is a considerable range in the ease at which different carbohydrates can be attacked by micro-organisms. The most vulnerable are sugars and cooked starches. Some uncooked starches are slow to ferment, and substances such as cellulose are very resistant to attack by most micro-organisms. 

Fermentation: Changes in food caused by intentional growth of bacteria, yeast or mold. Native bacteria ferments natural sugars to lactic acid, a major flavoring and preservative in sauerkraut and in naturally fermented dills. Alcohol, vinegar, and some dairy products are also fermented foods. 

Fermentation: carried out by bacteria and yeasts to convert simple sugars to acids or alcohols, altering food properties

Fermentation barrel (see also carboy): Container used to ferment. 

Ferulic acid: Type of phenol found in various fruits and vegetables and citrus fruits which has antioxidant like activities that may reduce the risk of degenerative diseases, heart disease and eye disease. 

Fiber: material that can not be broken down by enzymes and resistant to digestion. Provides bulk to many foods. Dietary fiber generally refers to parts of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes that can't be digested by humans. Meats and dairy products do not contain fiber. Studies indicate that high- fiber diets can reduce the risks of heart disease and certain types of cancer. There are two basic types of fiber - insoluble and soluble. Soluble fiber in cereals, oatmeal, beans and other foods has been found to lower blood cholesterol. Insoluble fiber in cauliflower, cabbage and other vegetables and fruits helps move foods through the stomach and intestine, thereby decreasing the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. 

Filling temperature: Following parameters have to be considered: solids content, pH value, type of pectin, filling quantity, the filling temperature must be higher than the gelling temperature. 

Fill-weight: Amount of food placed into a container or package and written on the label (also net weight). 

Filtration: Process of passing a liquid through a filter to remove any solid particles. 

Final proof: Tinned loaves are placed in a prover at 35°C (85-90% RH) until desired height is reached before baking. 

Finishing kitchen: Kitchen that receives prepared foods for reconstituting or heating, assembling, portioning, and serving. Also known as a receiving kitchen or a satellite. 

Firming agents: Used to make or retain firmness or crispness in fruit and vegetables and to strengthen gels. 

Flavanones: Type of flavonoid found in citrus fruits which provides the health benefits of neutralizing free radicals and possibly reducing the risk of cancer. 

Flavor: Description of the sensation aroused by taste testing. The experience involves both taste and smell. In a fat or oil, a bland or neutral flavor is usually desired so that natural flavors of food will permeate. 

Flavor enhancers: Used to enhance or bring out the flavor and/or odor in foods without imparting a distinctive flavor of their own. 

Flour improvers: Used to enhance the elastic properties and aid the development of dough. Also accelerates the effect of bleaching agents. 

Flow diagram: Graphic representation of the movement of food products from the receiving through processes. 

Flow of food: Path from receiving through storing, preparing, cooking, holding, serving, cooling, and reheating that food follows in a foodservice system. 

Fluoride: Fluoride is the ionic form of the gas fluorine. It is commonly found in nature e.g., as the mineral fluorspar (calcium fluorite Ca F2). Foam: Gas dispersed in a liquid where the gas bubbles are the discrete phase. There are many food foams including whipped creams, ice cream, carbonated soft drinks, mousses, meringues, and the head of a beer. A foam is likewise unstable and needs a stabilizing agent to form the gas bubble membrane. 

Foam: when gas bubbles are trapped within a liquid or solid, providing an aerated structure eg whipped cream

Foaming: Development and persistence of bubbles on the surface of fats during frying operations. Persistent foaming and accumulation of thick layers of foam may be indicative of fat breakdown. 

Foaming agents: Used to provide a uniform dispersion of gas in a food. 

Focusing: Concentration of electromagnetic waves inside a food due to its curved surface, much like a lens focussing light waves. It leads to enhanced heating at the interior. 

Folate: One of the forms of the B vitamin folacin. Refers to the bound forms of the vitamin that are naturally present in foods. 

Folic acid: Form of the B vitamin folacin in dietary supplements. It is much easier for the human body to make use of folic acid than folate. 

Food: Those substances that are eaten or otherwise taken in the body to: sustain psychological and physiological life; support growth and repair and replacement of tissues; and provide energy and nutrition...in essence, the sum of all the processes concerned with the growth, maintenance and repair of the body and/or its organs and systems. 

Food acids: Citric acid, tartaric acid, or malic acid used for adjusting the pH value in food. 

Food contact surface: Any surface of equipment, utensils, containers, wrappings that come in direct contact with food. 

Food contamination: Foreign material that is absorbed by the food during production, processing, distribution, and food handling in the home. It includes chemical substances, such as pesticides and cleaning preparations, metals, stones, bandages, and biological materials including viruses and microorganisms causing food borne diseases. 

Food desert: geographical location without access or affordability to fresh food in terms of quality and quantity

Food globalization: transfer of ideas, meanings, values and traditions adapted from different cultures across geographical locations

Food idiosyncrasy: Non-allergic reaction to food or food component that occurs through unknown mechanisms.

Food intolerance: Adverse reaction to a food or food component that does not involve the body’s immune system.

Food irradiation: Process of exposing food to radiation (rays of energy). 

Food preservatives: Prevent spoilage either by slowing the growth of organisms that live on food or by protecting the food from oxygen. Antimicrobials are preservatives that protect food by slowing the growth of bacteria, molds and yeasts. Antioxidants are preservatives that protect by preventing food molecules from combining with oxygen (air). 

Food processing: Using food as a raw material and changing it in some way to make a food product. 

Food safety: Protecting the food supply from microbial, chemical (i.e. rancidity, browning) and physical (i.e. drying out, infestation) hazards or contamination that may occur during all stages of food production and handling-growing, harvesting, processing, transporting, preparing, distributing and storing. The goal of food safety monitoring is to keep food wholesome. 

Food safety hazards: Include all microbiological, chemical, and foreign materials that, if consumed, could cause injury or harm.

Food Science: the study of scientific and technical disciplines to help ensure the safety, availability & consistency of food globally

Food spoilage: Food that has decayed or decomposed. Rate of spoilage depends on surrounding environmental factors such as temperature, atmosphere and moisture. Spoiled food does not cause foodborne illness. There must be a sufficient level of hazardous material to cause such an illness. 

Foodborne illness/disease/poisoning: Illnesses which result from ingestion of contaminating microbial pathogens (i.e., bacteria, mold, viruses), chemicals, parasites, viruses or from naturally occurring toxins or poisons. Bacterial food borne disease are of two major types -intoxication and infection. 

Foodborne intoxication: Illness caused by ingestion of food containing a toxin (metabolic byproduct) that was formed and excreted into the food as a result of pathogenic microbial growth (i.e. Clostridium botulinium, Staphyloccccus aureus.) 

Foodborne toxin mediated infection: Disease that results from eating a food containing a large number of disease-causing microorganisms. 

Fortification: Addition of nutrients that are not naturally present in the food or the addition of amounts greater than those naturally present. This is different from "enrichment," which refers to the addition of nutrients to replace those lost in food processing. Important examples of food fortification include the addition of iodine to salt, the addition of vitamin D to milk, and the addition of the B vitamin folic acid to grain products. 

Fortified: Addition of nutrients to food. 

Fractionation: Controlled crystallization and separation techniques involving the separation of hard and soft fractions of a fat. Such processes are often employed in the production of oils, high stability frying oils and cocoa butter alternatives fats. 

Free Fatty Acids (FFA): Bound fatty acids in monoglycerides, diglycerides and triglycerides may be released under certain conditions, to yield free acids. 

Free radicals: Atoms or molecules with an unpaired electron. Formation of free radicals is a normal oxidation process in foods and are formed during food treatments such as toasting, frying, freeze drying, and irradiation. They are generally very reactive, unstable structures that continuously react with substances to form stable products. Free radicals disappear by reacting with each other in the presence of liquids, such as saliva in the mouth. Consequently, their ingestion does not create any toxicological or other harmful effects. 

Freezing point depression: Colligative property associated with the number of dissolved molecules. The lower the molecular weight, the greater the ability of a molecule to depress the freezing point for any given concentration. For example, in ice cream manufacturing, monosaccharides such as fructose or glucose produce a much softer ice cream than disaccharides such as sucrose, if the concentration of both is the same 

 

 

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