The demand by global consumers for healthier and more nutritious food products is increasing in accordance to high ethical standards addressing both specific health needs and sustainably produced. As for many consumers, healthy eating is allied to natural products and a growing demand for these products is observed, mainly in Europe and North America. In order to advance the quality of lives of consumers in developing countries like India and China, highly nutritious products are required that are relevant and that can be delivered at an affordable price. Therefore, it is of extreme importance in food engineering research to build up a detailed understanding of the time-dependent temporary changes in all of the structural aspects of food matrices from raw material harvesting, to product processing, to the point of breakdown during shelf-life, consumption and final digestion. Food structural understanding and control needs to be mastered on a broad range of length scales including: the molecular, supra-molecular, micro- and macro-structural level. Simultaneously, the mechanical, physical and chemical properties of the food need to be considered as well.
“Food Microstructure and Its Relationship with Quality and Stability” presents the wide-ranging synopsis of the effects that the properties of the fundamental structures of food have on its perceived quality to the consumer. Fundamental understanding of the microstructure is required to predict and describe the changes in food quality during any food processing. Recent advancement in microscopy and image processing technology has helped the food engineers to probe into the microstructure of the food materials. Moreover, the food scientists have also gathered a large amount of quantitative data for establishing the relationship between the food microstructure and the food quality. This compendium discusses how food microstructure is affected by the food processing conditions, mainly during drying. It also presents a connection between the food microstructure and the changes in food properties and quality aspects throughout the stage of food processing. It revises different microscopy techniques used to characterize food microstructure from the conventional light microscope to advanced techniques such as electron, confocal laser scanning, and atomic force microscopy. Examples are presented on the role of microstructure in ice cream, frozen and extruded foods, and new fabricated products such as low-calorie spreads. Hope, this book is of vital importance for both academic students and researchers in the areas of food quality, preservation, and stability, as well as for food developers and processors.