New Technology for Better-Tasting Packaged Food

The art of cooking meets food science.
Inside Science Television

(Inside Science TV) -- Technologists at the Mattson Food Science Lab in California have developed thousands of food products. Using a few technologies, they are creating packaged foods that have a longer shelf life without sacrificing taste or texture.

The secret? The food is packaged using high pressure instead of heat, said Barb Stuckey of Mattson Technology.

“By not having to add heat to food, we are able to retain some of the flavor compounds, so that the end result is a food that tastes a lot better than if it had been heated using traditional pasteurization,” said Stuckey.

For example, the team is able to tweak the acidity of a jarred sauce using the high pressure method so they don’t have to use intense heat to kill microbes and make the food safe to eat.  

The researchers at Mattson are also working on technology to improve frozen foods.

“The science behind frozen food is that the faster you can freeze something, the better it will taste, and this is because the faster you freeze something, the smaller the ice crystals or the fewer ice crystals develop,” said Stuckey.

A fast freeze protects food better and helps preserve its natural flavors for long-term storage.

Food scientists are also adding vitamins and minerals to packaged foods, and reducing sodium content to make them healthier.