Redeveloping Existing Products

In # 10: Communicating food science by Cody0 Comments

An article in the Chicago Tribune titled “Food-makers are taking salt and sugar out of food. But they’re adding fat” tries to simplify and explain to the average person why it is so difficult for food companies to take salt, sugar and fat out of processed foods.

While this article is quite interesting, for me it would have been nice for them to expand more on reports and studies that they quote in the article. I think that just stating that a study conducted says something there is no basis for me to know whether it is a legitimate study or not. While this may be the case the article does a nice job of crossing the divide between academics and industry. The article pulls in experts in both of these sectors to help readers understand why this is such a complex issue. The article correctly states that when you take something out of the product, something else must be added back in, whether it be salt, sugar or fat. I enjoy how the article gives an insight on the food components that play a large roll in the palatability, which happen to include salt, sugar and fat. The article does a nice job of giving background information on where we have seen these components increase in foods and decrease in foods, the author seems to have given a lot of thought to the article. The article could have done a better job of explaining what the consequences are of changing these formulas like, price increases, less palatability or poor process ability. The article doesn’t go into any of the chemistry or biology of how these food components function in many foods. For instance sugar is added to bind water, so naturally, if we remove the sugar this allows for more free water which in turn can make it more likely that the food becomes contaminated by pathogens or has a short shelf-life. The article also talks about how we are adding fats, especially saturated fats, to our foods, which I agree can be problematic for the prevalence of heart disease.

The biggest issue I had with this article was the fact that the article never once mentions that it is not food companies that are making people obese, it is the eating habits. I feel that people give so much grief to food companies when our portion sizes have increased and we have been eating less healthy every year.

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