Engineering for food safety and quality
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Consumer demand for healthy, nutritious, and safe foods has redefined the food quality attributes and created huge challenges to the US food industry. Food engineering research is tasked to develop new products and new processes to help food industry meet the consumer demands. However, food scientists and engineers must overcome following key technical challenges in order to accomplish their the research tasks: (1) emerging food, biological and engineered materials and new pathogenic microorganisms, whose properties are poorly understood; (2) increasing need to develop new types of foods with health benefits; (3) urgent need to develop advanced analytical techniques and mathematical models to evaluate, predict, optimize, and control food processes, quality, and safety; and (4) establishing strategies for sharing and fast dissemination of knowledge developed through the research for the purpose of commercial applications and students and workforce education and training. In addition to these technical issues, there is a strong need for a platform for collaborations among engineers, food scientists and other experts across the nation and for a continuous dialog between academic researchers and industry practitioners. NC1023 is positioned itself to serve all these needs in the next 5-year project period.