When Science meets Food

I am not sure about you, but I for one, never fully understood the science behind food or how they were interlinked – well that all changed after I listened to Dr. Lisa Ryan (Head of Dept. of Naturel Sciences, GMIT) deliver a very gripping lecture to the class. Many of us have heard the words carbohydrates, proteins and fats when it comes to our diet but I am not sure that we fully understand the science or nutrition behind those words. This lecture educated the class on energy balance, food composition, functions of macro/micronutrients, body absorption and food sources. Dr Ryan explained that understanding how certain nutrients and minerals affect the body could influence why people eat certain foods and follow a particular diet. The class were highly intrigued, interested and in some cases surprised to learn the science and nutrition behind certain foods. Knowing this information and being able to speak to someone as experienced as Dr. Lisa Ryan is in food science, will be a great aid to the students as they develop their food products.

Dr. Ryan also discussed the importance of food labelling and the regulation around same, something everyone in the food industry needs to be aware of. Consumers need to be educated about any new product so correct labelling of your food product will serve as both an educational and marketing tool. From now on I will be paying much more attention to food labels and plenty of your potential customers will be the same, so make sure your label is accurate!

I think it is safe to say people are becoming more and more aware of food composition and are more concerned about the health benefits of what they eat. If you are planning on bringing a food product to the market, you need to understand the science and nutrition behind that product and its potential place in the health markets. The saying “you are what you eat” makes a whole lot more sense to me now!

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