Food Structure


D. F. Lewis


The value of food microscopy is judged by its practical application to food handling. Hence microscopists must explain the relevance of their findings to food technologists. The food microscopist has to deal with materials that are particularly difficult to prepare for microscopy because they often contain high levels of fat, air, sugar, salt, starch or acid. Sometimes the methods used are unorthodox and could be regarded as questionable by microscopists in more traditional disciplines. This paper considers the relationship between food microscopists, food technologists and other microscopists. An approach to interpretation of images is based on the following features. 1) All interpretations should consider preparation processes, however simple these may be. 2) Interpretations should be based, where possible, on differences between treated and control samples processed in the same way. 3) l\'licroscopical observations should be linked to technological, chemical or physical observations. 4) Key observations should be checked by more than one microscopical technique. This paper uses past and recent work at the Leatherhead Food R.A. to demonstrate how these criteria have been applied to fa ts, vegetables, meats, proteins, confectionery, surface fouling and foreign bodies. The future of food microscopy is an exciting prospect, applying recent microscopical techniques to novel manufacturing problems.

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