90 year birthday special

Food must learn from its history

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Food industry must learn from its history

Related tags: Food science, Technology

Food Manufacture magazine appeared 90 years ago. The first issue was published in May 1927 with the aim of providing a forum for discussion for professionals working in UK food and drink processing. 

It also had as an objective the creation of a communication channel, providing a science-based counterbalance to many of the myths about the industry that were being peddled by the popular press of that time.

While the world in which we live now is radically different to that of 1927, it is sobering that the role of Food Manufacture​ in trying to counter the erroneous ‘opinion-based’ reporting of today’s tabloids with evidence-based food science and technology remains the same.

Prominence of social media

If anything, given the prominence of social media, the task food scientists and technologist face today is even more momentous.

This includes having to deal with the views of self-appointed experts on Twitter who, when faced with evidence with which they disagree, resort to talking about “fake news”​ and “alternative facts”.

Science – and food science in particular – now faces some of the biggest challenges it has ever encountered.

And it falls to those who care passionately about the disciplines it covers – whether those working in nutrition science or food technology – to stand up and be counted in arguing the case for scientific progress.

Anti-science bias

The reasons why a seemingly anti-science bias pervades discussion of food and drink, when the same does not hold true for medicine, pharmaceuticals and engineering is, no doubt, complex and needs to be better understood before it can be comprehensively tackled.

But that is no reason why food scientists, technologists and nutritionists should not start communicating better to the wider public.

Over the following few pages, experts in various fields highlight what food science has achieved over the past 90 years, while explaining the even greater importance it will play in attempting to mitigate the huge challenges the world faces over the next 90 years.

Related topics: Food Safety

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