Food Science Terms - H

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point): System based on science and logic which identifies potential biological, chemical and physical hazards in food production and establishes preventative measures for their control and to ensure nothing to affect the safety of the product happens at these points. A plan outlining this system for a food production process is called a HACCP plan. 

Hard butter: Generic term to describe a class of specialty fats with physical characteristics similar to those found in cocoa butter or dairy butter. Applications include confectionery coatings and centers, coffee whiteners, etc. 

Hard water: water with a high content of dissolved minerals. Its use can be preferable in the production of certain types of beer

Hazard: Unacceptable contamination (of a biological, chemical, or physical nature), unacceptable microbial growth, or unacceptable survival of microorganisms of a concern to food safety, or persistence is present. 

HDPE: High-density polyethylene. 

Head: Foam at the top of beer caused by carbonation. Foams vary greatly between beer styles. 

Headspace: Unfilled space above food or liquid in jars. Allows for food expansion as jars are heated, and for forming vacuums as jars cool. 

Heat processing: Treatment of jars with sufficient heat to enable storing food at normal home temperatures. 

Heat resistancy: Heat stability of jams during baking. 

Heat reversibility: Ability of a gel to form again after being liquefied by heating. 

Heat sealing: Method of sealing plastic containers by heating two adjoining layers or portions of the container until they melt together thereby forming a good seal. 

Hermetic: airtight

Hermetic seal: Absolutely airtight container seal which prevents reentry of air or microorganisms into packaged foods. 

Heterogeneous magnetic fields: Magnetic field that exhibits a gradient depending on the nature of the magnet 

High-fructose corn syrup: Formulations generally containing 42 percent, 55 percent or 90 percent fructose (the remaining carbohydrate being primarily glucose) depending on the product application. Used in products such as soft drinks or cake mixes. 

High pressure processing: High-pressure processing is a novel non-thermal technique in which pressures up to 130 kpsi for hold times of 0.001 to 1200 seconds or longer are employed to pasteurize food at ambient or refrigerator temperatures. 

High risk foods: Foods that are capable of transmitting food poisoning micro-organisms to consumers. 

High voltage electrical impulse: Application of high voltage discharges to a liquid medium in a very short time. 

High voltage switch: Device used to trigger the delivery of high intensity light pulses to foods or packaging materials. 

HM pectins: High-Methoxyl pectins. 

Homocysteine: Amino acid that is produced as a byproduct of the metabolism of one-carbon compounds. Excessive accumulation of this substance in the bloodstream has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. 

Homogeneous magnetic fields: Magnetic field with a constant strength over space. 

Homogeneous material: Material which does not exhibit spatial variation in composition 

Homogenize: Process in which the size of the large fat droplets (globules) is reduced to small uniform particles, which are then distributed evenly throughout the liquid. For example, the cream in homogenized milk is distributed throughout the liquid rather than rising to the top to form a layer. 

Hop sock (grain bag): Bag that holds grains during a boil, very much like a large teabag. 

Hops: Cone shaped flowers used in brewing. Hops act as a flavoring agent in beer, adding aroma, sweetness and bitterness. They also help in head retention. 

Host: Human, animal, or plant in which another organism lives and nourishes itself. 

Hot Pack: Heating of raw food in boiling water or steam and filling it hot into jars. 

Hot Smoked: Cooking and smoking cycles are combined. Smoking process takes place during the early portion of the cook cycle. Specific time/temperature requirements apply depending on the type of meat being hot smoked. 

Household gelling aid: For producing jams and jellies in the household. Composition: pectin, acid, sugar. The bulk of the sugar must be added separately. 

HTST: high temperature/short-time processing. A process by which food is sterilized at very high temperatures but only for a very short period. 

Humectants:: food additive used to retain moisture in foods by absorbing water from the air to prevent drying out.

Humidity: Amount of water vapor in air. 

Hurdle Technology: Method of inhibiting or terminating microbial growth and reproduction. Up to now, about 50 different hurdles have been identified in food preservation. Apart from the most important and commonly used hurdles such as temperature, pH, and water activity, there are many others of potential value. Other hurdles include: ultrahigh pressure, mano-thermo-sonication, photodynamic inactivation, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of both non-respiring and respiring products, edible coatings, ethanol, maillard reaction products and bacteriocins. 

HVAC: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. 

Hydrocolloid: polysaccharide or protein molecule which disperses in water to produce functional properties, such as gelling or thickening

Hydrogenated fat (oil): Fat which has been reacted chemically with hydrogen gas in the presence of a catalyst for the purpose of stabilizing or hardening the original fat. The hydrogen reduces the degree of unsaturation of the fat. 

Hydrogenation: Process of adding hydrogen molecules directly to an unsaturated fatty acid from sources such as vegetable oils to convert it to a semi-solid form such as margarine or shortening. Hydrogenation contributes important textural properties to food. The degree of hydrogenation influences the firmness and spreadability of margarines, flakiness of pie crust and the creaminess of puddings. Hydrogenated oils are sometimes used in place of other fats with higher proportions of saturated fatty acids such as butter or lard. 

Hydrolysis: Chemical reaction of another substance with water, resulting in fragmentation or splitting of the molecules of that substance, for example the splitting of the sucrose molecule into glucose and fructose molecules. 

Hydrometer: Instrument that measures specific gravity of liquids, used to measure salt, sugar or alcohol concentration. 

Hygiene: 1. preservation of health: the science dealing with the preservation of health. 2. cleanliness: the practice or principles of cleanliness



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