Post-harvest losses, global competition, and rising consumer demand for better food quality requires scientists to understand the biological, physical, and chemical properties of food and food ingredients. The U.S. Department of Agriculture collaborates with academic, federal and industry partners to understand the science of foods and to improve processing and packaging technologies. These efforts help meet the demand for nutritious, convenient, and globally competitive food products.
Importance of Food Science and Technology
Advancements in science and technology continue to expand the breadth and quality of food production. As a result of rapidly evolving technologies, the public has been afforded access to a food supply that is:
- Abundant and diverse
- Available at a lower cost
- Resistant to spoilage
- Safe and nutritious
NIFA initiatives are directed towards improving the production and quality of foods. The agency’s projects are:
- Developing innovative processing technologies to improve the quality of foods and reduce post-harvest losses
- Conducting research to understand the molecular structure and functionality of foods and food ingredients
- Improving production efficiency and resource conservation in the food industry
- Advancing packaging science and engineering to improve food packaging materials and systems
Primary Point of Contact: Jodi Williams, Ph.D.