Tasty Food Science Facts for Christmas

By Karin Cho (in conjunction with other SMF writers)


Christmas is just around the corner, and for the last blog post of the year, some of the authors have shared a fun food science fact they learned, along with a topic/concept/idea that the authors are excited to learn about in 2022.


Editor: Elliot Dhuey

A fun food science fact: ”This year I learned about the transmission of viruses on packaging materials. Specifically, the COVID-19 virus is able to survive on glass and plastics for longer duration than it will on paperboard and metal surfaces. This is due to toxicity of metal on the virus (for metal surfaces) and the reduced availability of water on paperboard compared to plastics and glass. ”

What I look forward to learning in 2022: “I would like to learn more about possible emerging careers using a food science degree.”

Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/afWJmP


Author and VP of Digital and Social Media: Jacob Webster-Jones

A fun food science fact: “Sorbitol is almost identical to glucose except for one chemical group making it less digestible.”

What I look forward to learning in 2022: “I’m really interested to learn a lot behind food laws and legislations. Specifically, how safety and standard of identity for food products are determined.”

Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/bm11pL


Author: A.J. Taylor

A fun food science fact: “Biofermenters and creating products from fermentation will be the way of the food future, very shortly. There are a lot of start-ups that are focusing on fermentation to make new and old food products.”

What I look forward to learning in 2022: “I would love to know how the food industry is going to change permanently due to the pandemic / shortage of foods and how we will move to more sustainable methods of agriculture.”

Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/uW4w2P


Author: Karin Cho

A fun food science fact: “In my food processing class, we covered several non-thermal processing methods. Although the technology is not fully integrated into industry, it was interesting to learn the various processing methods that did not require heating the food above 65 ºC. One of those methods involve the use of cold plasma, which can inactivate pathogens by breaking down the DNA and proteins in a bacterial cell. ”

What I look forward to learning in 2022: “I’ve wondered how we could sustain life outside of Earth, so I am looking forward to reading more about how to grow crops in space. ”

Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/qxpVPg


Honorary Guest: Bryan Le

A fun food science fact: “Lately, I’ve been reading more about mushrooms and their uses in the food industry. One of the enzymes they produce is called laccase, a polyphenol oxidase that has a lot of interesting uses for food processing. Mycelial laccase is normally used by mushrooms to degrade lignin, which is one of the two polymers found in wood. Laccase can also be used to break down diphenols and other molecules in food products, helping to reduce the bitterness and cloudiness. For example, hazes and sediment are formed in juices, wines, and beer due to the interaction between polyphenols and proteins. Laccase breaks these down and produces stable beverages. Laccase can also be used to break down undesirable volatile compounds and improve the flavor of foods. This is especially true of oxygenated lipids like aldehyde and ketone byproducts, which gives many foods a grassy flavor and off-odors. Laccase has been used to cross-link sugar beet pectin, forming really interesting and new types of edible materials. Mushrooms are a fascinating group of organisms that have a lot to offer the food industry. I look forward to learning more about them in the upcoming year!”

What I look forward to learning in 2022: “Of course, mushrooms and fungi used in the food industry!”

Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/efneTj


If you are looking for more interesting food science facts, take a look at what the authors have published this year:


We wish you all a happy holidays and stop by SMF next year for more food for thought!

Karin ChoKarin Cho | Linkedin

SMF Blog Writer

Karin earned her B.A. in Biochemistry from Grinnell College, and during her time there, she was unsure how to merge her two passions for science and food. After attending several IFT events and completing a QA internship abroad, she decided to pursue a Master’s in Food Science and Technology from Iowa State University. Her research involves the development of fat alternatives. Growing up in a Chinese-Japanese household, she developed a palate for tasting new, sometimes bizarre, foods. When she’s not learning about food science, she enjoys watching science fiction movies, taking walks in parks, and learning new recipes from the people she meets during her travels.

Science Meets Food

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