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Food science including the processing and preservation aspects is an interdisciplinary subject involving topics from chemistry, microbiology, engineering operations and technological processes. These topics need an interactive approach to enable one to gain a proper perspective and insight into the subject.
The fast emerging food biotechnology, involving the use of genetically modified foods and food products, has become controversial even though the use of micro-organisms and microbial products in food processing has been in practice for centuries. The first volume of Handbook of Food Processing Technology deals with basic concepts of fruits and vegetables, major processed fruits and packaging of fruits and vegetables, and is divided into three sections.
Section I is devoted to basic concepts of fruits and vegetables. While fruits are delicious, nutritious and a desirable component of our diet, they suffer from being extremely perishable. For this reason, it is often advantageous to preserve them for longer shelf life and easier transportation to locations distant from the site of production. Processing also transforms the raw material into new and perhaps improved product. This section also covers both traditional methods of preservation such as canning, freezing and drying.
Section II studies major processed products and covers more than 22 fruits, including apples, peaches and apricots, sweet and sour cherries, plums, prunes, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, grapes, oranges and tangerines, grapefruits, lemons and limes, bananas, tropical fruits, coconut, avocadoes, olives and nuts.
Section III focuses on residual management and packaging. Residuals are necessary consequence of processing agricultural raw materials. The residuals dumped at local landfills and discharged to natural streams, have now become a major environmental concern. Environmental protection standards are becoming more stringent, causing disposal costs to escalate. These challenges of environmental protection and economic competitiveness are discussed in this section.
The present Handbook of Food Processing Technology is a complete treatise on foods and food processing techniques. It is essential reading for all students and teachers of environment, engineering, food technology and life sciences. The book will also cater to the needs of students and professors, industry personnel and others working on research aspects in this field.
S.C. Bhatia, a Chemical Engineer from BITS, Pilani, and also an MBA, is a consultant on Environmental and Pollution Control, Energy Conservation and Polymer Sciences. He has worked in various petrochemical plants in production planning, maintenance, quality control, etc. He has authored books on subjects ranging from chemical process industries, plastic and rubber technology to perfume, soaps and cosmetics. His areas of specialisation include air and water pollution, energy conservation, rubber, plastics and bio-sciences. He has contributed numerous papers on chemical and allied subjects in journals of repute. Among his published books, Textbook of Noise Pollution and Its Control, Textbook of Biotechnology, Managing Industrial Pollution, Industrial Chemistry, Perfume, Soap and Cosmetics and Chemical Process Industries have received overwhelming response