SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Food Product Design—an Integrated Approach . 2011 . Edited by Anita R. Linnemann, Catharina G.P.H. Schroen, and Martinus A.J.S. van Boekel . Wageningen Academic Publishers , P.O. Box 220, 6700 AE Wageningen , The Netherlands . Paperback, 288 p. US$ 60, Euros 40 .

As is now widely recognized, food research has largely shifted over the last several decades from descriptive studies of physicochemical/microbial/nutritional interest to consumer demand-based activities. The huge number of new food products continuously introduced into the marketplace, especially in industrialized areas of the world, is testimony to the shift in food science from observing and describing natural phenomena to this new age of creativity and innovation. Almost all academic food science curricula around the world now include courses on new product development. Early instructors were true pioneers in that they had to rely on “home-made” teaching aids because adequate tools and outlines were not available, similar to the times of early explorers. This new book, being the first of its kind, can therefore be called “comprehensive” and be the nucleus for future improvements into the next phase of modern food science. As a matter of fact, this is already the second edition to the one of 2007. In passing, it should be mentioned that there exists a trade journal with the name Food Product Design, already in its 20th year and now also available online, but it is mainly news-oriented, ad-supported, and aimed at practical technologists in culinology and R&D groups of food companies.

Food product design can be considered to consist of 4 stages: strategy development; design and process development; commercialization; and launch and evaluation. The book at hand is mainly concerned with the second stage of food product design from a technological perspective and process development.

The editors had help from capable chapter authors to provide readers with a total of 11 parts, all pertinent to the topic. Chapter 1 by van Boekel and Linnemann (Wageningen Univ.) is a brief introduction arguing the need for food product design. In Chapter 2, Corinne J. Goenee (White Tree B.V.) details the essence and procedures underlying human creativity and innovation, of interest to food companies and educators alike. QFD or quality function deployment is the subject of Chapter 3 by Marco Benner, Matthijs Dekker, and Anita Linnemann (Wageningen Univ.); it is a planning method that guarantees that quality is engineered into a product at the design stage and as such is an adaptation of the very tools used in total quality management (TQM). Chapter 4 is by van Boekel who has published in CRFSFS before and is well known in food engineering and modeling circles. (Five years ago he took several of his students on a study trip through northeastern USA and also visited our new Food Science Building at Penn State Univ.). In this chapter, the possibilities of modeling and statistics in food product design are displayed. It is pointed out that it is essential to know what to model, and that includes the key chemical reactions that have an effect on food quality (some 17 are highlighted). Barrier technology by Remko Boom, Karin Schroen, and Marian Vermue (Wageningen Univ.) is discussed in Chapter 5 and delves into the migration kinetics underlying coatings, edible films, and other food protection materials. Chapter 6 by Schroen and Boom is basically a 45-page treatise on emulsion properties and preparations. Food packaging design by Matthijs Dekker is a brief 8-page Chapter 7 stressing again the importance of food protection, especially by means of modified atmosphere maintenance. In Chapter 8, various aspects of hygienic design (notably factory, equipment, and process lines) are discussed by Huub L.M. Lelieveld, a former 13-year president of the European Hygienic Equipment Design Group. Chris E. Dutilh, consultant on environmental matters, Amsterdam, familiarizes the reader with life cycle assessment (LCA) in Chapter 9, answering to the questions “what is it and why is it relevant in food product design?” Chapter 10 is entitled “managing knowledge for new product development” and author Peter Folstar (Wageningen Univ.) shows the reader a “road map” that allows one to find a way through the landscape of science, technology, business, and innovation. The book is completed with a case study by Marco Benner and Ruud Verkerk (Wageningen Univ.) that describes the development of a ready-to-eat meal from the perspective of a health-conscious consumer. And that perspective encapsulates the philosophy behind modern food product design.