Food Science Terms - R

Radiation Dose: Quantity of radiation energy absorbed by the food as it passes through the radiation field during processing.  

Radiation: Rays of energy.   

Radio frequency: Electromagnetic waves at frequencies of 13.56, 27.12 and 40.68 MHz.   

Radiolytic Products (RP's): Chemicals produced in food when the food is irradiated that are the same as chemicals produced during cooking.   

Radura Symbol: Circular symbol that must appear on all irradiated food unless the food is used as an ingredient in a processed food or is served in a restaurant.  

Raising agents: Used to increase the volume of doughs and batters by promoting gas release (aeration).   

Rapid assays: Diagnostic tests use emerging technology to identify and remove impurities from foods before they reach the consumer. There are two major types of rapid assays. Antibody-based assays link a "familiar" characteristic on a pathogen's surface (the antigen) to a substance known as an antibody. When this connection is made, the test registers "success." Similarly, nucleic acid-based assays use the unique genetic materials of the cells to detect a pathogen.   

Raising agents: also called leavening agents, substances that promote volume increase by aeration eg yeast, baking soda

Rancidity: caused by fat oxidation; primarily occurs with unsaturated fats and produces unpleasant odors and flavors

Rate of inactivation or survival ratio, S: Initial number of viable microorganisms (N0) divided by the number survivor microorganisms after treatment (N).   

Raw Pack: Practice of filling jars with raw, unheated food. Acceptable for canning low-acid foods, but allows more rapid quality losses in acid foods heat processed in boiling water.   

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances): Nutrient intakes recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences for healthy people in the United States. Different RDAs have been established for different age groups. 

Ready-Prepared Foodservice System: Foodservice system in which food is purchased from across the food processing continuum (with most coming from the little or no end), prepared, and stored either frozen or chilled for later service on site. Also known as a cook/chill or cook/freeze foodservice system.   

Ready-to-eat food: Food that is in a form that is edible without washing, cooking or additional preparation by the food establishment or consumer and that is reasonably expected to be consumed in that form. Ready-to-eat food includes potentially hazardous food that has been cooked; raw, washed, cut fruits and vegetables; whole, raw, fruits and vegetables that are presented for consumption without the need for further washing, such as at a buffet; and other food presented for consumption for which further washing or cooking is not required and from which rinds, peels, husks or shells have been removed.   

Receiving Area: Space provided for the unloading of food and non-food products from commercial trucks and for checking orders for quantity, quality, and completeness.   

Recombinant DNA (rDNA): DNA formed by combining segments of DNA from different organisms.   

Recycled: To use again.   

Refined oil: Process designed to substantially remove free fatty acids and other impurities such as phosphatides, proteinaceous and mucilagenous substances, which could contribute to undesirable flavor and appearance in the finished product.   

Refractometer: Instrument that measures the refractive index of a liquid, which is used to measure soluble solids in syrups, jams and marmalades, or salt in brines.   

Releasing agents: Used to prevent foodstuffs sticking to machinery, moulds, packaging etc. but not necessarily shown on food labels even though some may remain in the food.   

Rennet: complex set of enzymes used in cheesemaking. Rennet is extracted from the stomach-lining of calves. New technologies have enabled the removal of the specific gene that produces rennet and have reproduced it in bacteria. This allows the production of rennet through a fermentation process, eliminating the need for extracts from calves’ stomachs.   

Requirements: Criteria set down by the competent authorities relating to trade in foodstuffs covering the protection of public health, the protection of consumers and conditions of fair trading.   

Reservoir: Alternate host or passive carrier of a pathogenic microorganism. This may be soil, animals, or humans.   

Residence time distribution: Distribution of times spent by the various components of a food product through a process vessel.  

Resonance: Electromagnetic wave patterns formed due to superposition of oncoming and reflected waves, leading to very high rates of heating. Resonance can occur inside a food for specific combinations of size, shape, and food property.   

Restricted eggs: Eggs with cracks or checks in the shell, dirty eggs, incubator rejects, and inedible, leaker, or loss eggs.   

Retailer: Sells goods or services to the consumer for personal use.   

Retarding agent: Buffering salts.  

Rethermalization: Reheating to appropriate temperatures prior to service.   

Retinol: Chemical name for vitamin A.   

Retrogradation: realigning of amylose and amylopectin chains during cooling of a gelatinized starch mixture to a crystalline structure

Reversible breakdown: Formation of reversible pores in the bacterial cell membranes.   

Reversion: Undesirable change in flavor of a refined oil or fat. It usually refers to the development of a characteristic off flavor in a refined, bleached oil of good initial flavor.   

Reynold's Number: Dimensionless expression used in predicting flow patterns.   

RFP: Request for proposal is a formal document developed to make a request to potential consultants or service providers to submit a proposal to provide needed services or goods needed by an organization.   

Rheology: study of the food behavior when force is applied; deformation of solid or flow of liquid. Impacts food texture, equipment and packaging

Riboflavin: One of the B vitamins. It is sometimes called vitamin B2.   It is common found in eggs, vegetables, and meats

Ribonucleic acid (RNA): Molecule similar to DNA that functions primarily to decode the instructions carried by genes for protein synthesis.   

Ridgelimeter: Gauge to determine the sag of pectin gels.   

Risk: Probability of an adverse event occurring.   

Risk analysis: Process consisting of three components: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.   

Risk assessment: Scientifically based process consisting of the following steps: (i) hazard identification, (ii) hazard characterization, (iii) exposure assessment and (iv) risk characterization. It provides an evaluation of the likelihood and severity of adverse effects on public health arising, for example, from the presence in foodstuffs of additives, contaminants, residues, toxins or disease-causing organisms.  

Risk communication: Interactive exchange of information and opinions concerning risk among risk assessors, risk managers, consumers and other interested parties.   

Risk management: Process of weighing policy alternatives in the light of the results of risk assessment and, if required, selecting and implementing appropriate control options, including regulatory measures.   

Risk profile: Description of the food safety problem and its context. Risk profiling is the process of describing a food safety problem and its context, in order to identify those elements of the hazard or risk relevant to various risk management decisions. The risk profile would include identifying aspects of hazards relevant to prioritizing and setting the risk assessment policy and aspects of the risk relevant to the choice of safety standards and management options.   

Rope in bread: Bacterial spoilage that produces rope-like threads in bread and can cause food poisoning.   

Runaway heating: Cycle of increasing temperature in food causing increasing rate of energy (microwave/ohmic) absorption that further increases the rate of temperature rise. It is more prominent in foods undergoing phase change from ice to water and in foods containing significant salt and other ions



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