Do you know a budding food scientist? Food Technology (Sci Hi Science & Technology) by Neil Morris is just the book for him or her. It is a high-interest look at many aspects of food technology, from food additives and chemistry to production and packaging. Turns out a lot more science goes into our food than we might realize.
Neil Morris did not shy away from controversial topics in this book. There is a two-page spread discussing genetic modification. He reveals that in order to make cheese that is acceptable to vegetarians, manufacturers had to find a way to avoid using rennet. Rennet is an enzyme that comes from the stomachs of animals, most often from calves. It is used to make curds from milk. Scientists took the appropriate genes that make rennet work and added them to microorganisms. He says that the resulting cheese is labelled safe for vegetarians, but isn’t labelled GM because the microorganisms that are modified do not end up in the final product. Food for thought!
The book is visually-interesting, with color photographs and plenty of informative sidebars. The copy I reviewed did have a few problems with illustrations bleeding over and covering text (pp. 17 and 20), but that did not detract unduly. I enjoyed the insider’s view of how food is made and tested before it is sent to the shelves.
Food Technology is an interesting and informative summary of many different topics related to food technology and science. It would be a great resource for someone looking for ideas for a science fair or for writing a report. It also is likely to spark an interest in finding out more about the fascinating field of food technology.
For related hands-on activities, try these articles:
Food Science 101: the Basic Ingredients of Food Science
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Library Binding: 48 pages
Publisher: Heinemann-Raintree (August 1, 2011)
The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
This week’s STEM Friday round up is at Practically Paradise.