Food Microbiology is a vital area in ensuring food integrity
Food microbiology is a fairly large field of the science of food. Any food, no matter from which source it is derived, which part of the world it is grown in, and what it contains, is prone to attracting microorganisms. These microorganisms, found freely in nature, inhabit food. Although not all microorganisms are necessarily bad, bad ones among these microorganisms can have an impact on food. Their nature and inhabitation in food call for a separate topic of biology, namely food microbiology.
Why is food microbiology important?
Food microbiology is indispensable to ensuring food safety. Microorganisms are usually not visible to the naked eye. So, once they get into the food process or food chain; they can play havoc with food quality, affecting it adversely. It is the microorganisms in food that is usually the culprit in causing a number of food-related diseases.
Food microbiology is an important preventive against microorganisms and microbes, because only one percent these organisms cause most of the foodborne diseases, which makes their detection all the more difficult. Microbes cause anything from athlete’s foot to common cold to diarrhea to skin infections to TB to vaginal infections.
This is why it is essential for food organizations and the food chain across the globe to put in place a mechanism for ensuring that hygiene is ensured in all these:
- The production of food
- Its processing
- Its preservation, and
- Food storage
How do food microbiologists work?
Food microbiology consists of putting into use a number of technologies and techniques in the various areas related to microbiology, such as immunology and molecular biology. It is important for food microbiology to separate good microbes such as good bacteria, molds, and yeasts, which are used to produce and ferment foods and many of their ingredients, from the harm causing ones. This is one of the most useful applications of food microbiology.
Food microbiology enables useful microbes to be cultivated and exploited in other ways in producing, processing and preserving several kinds of beverages and foods. The aim of food microbiology is to also ensure that adulteration, spoilage and pilferage, which are causes for large-scale loss of food revenue, are controlled. The food microbiology professional puts into practice technologies and methodologies for ensuring that food is proper and free of disease causing agents.