Derivation of chemical originally comes from natural source only. As science develops, there is also example of inorganic compound that a laboratory can create. However, it is undoubtable that organic chemistry makes up most of the industry, including food industry.
Importance of Organic Chemistry in Food Industry
Nowadays, food industry does not only rely on the non processed stuffs but also use chemical either to enhance the flavor or appearance. There are some importance of organic chemistry in food industry.
- Preservative Agent
In modern chemistry, artificial preservative is more common since it is cheaper. However, preservative from organic compound is still widely used and people consider it safer. The common natural preservative for example is salt and frozen hydrogen oxide.
Many types of food especially in traditional serving use salt as preservative to keep the food edibility longer. Also, the method of using ice as preservative is still the main mechanism by freezing the items in cold temperature. Thus, organic chemistry from naturally occurring chemical is important in food industry.
Related to List of Food Preservatives.
- Coloring Chemical
The ancient method of enhancing the appearance of the food to make it more appealing and appetizing used color agents from natural source. As science evolved, even some artificial color additives are still derivation of organic compounds.
In facts, many health association of various countries suggest food industry to use organic color additive as it is safer for human health. Some of the most famous color additive for food are carotenoids for yellow, orange, and deep red derived from carrot, potato, and pumpkin and chlorophyll from plants’ leaves for green color.
- Crop Protection
Crops and other plantation products need high maintenance from unwanted disturbance like pest and weeds. Therefore, in order to get the stock stable and the quality good, farmers need crop protection. Chemical generated from organic compound is the best pesticide as it can blend better with the environment without causing multitude damage to ecosystem. Even though artifical pesticide is more popular, the one from organic chemistry is more recommendable for the long sustain of food industry.
- Crop Fertilizer
Another big contribution of organic chemistry in food industry is as crop fertilizer. Many foods are result of processed natural source such as crops, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and many more. In order to increase the production, farmer needs fertilizer.
Synthetic fertilizer sells better but organic fertilizer is safer as well as less costly. Basically any living being that contains nutrient needed such as nitrogen, potassium, ammonium nitrate and the like can be fertilizer. Farmers can take it from animal feses, seaweeds, fish extracts and many more.
- Food Emulsifier
Food emulsifier is important in the making of food to combine water and oil element of the food materials as the two naturally will not mix together. Emulsifier helps to make a more various food that combines ingredients from both water and oil based.
Organic emulsifier derivate from organic chemistry such as milk, phospholipids chemicals, sorbitan, sodium, and eggs. In facts, many emulsifier are from natural sources as they blend with the food better with almost no unpleasant after taste.
- Flavor Enhancing Agents
Popular flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate comes from organic compound when sugar elements are distilled and processed to enhance the papillae on human’s tongue. Spices that generally favored for its rich taste also come from natural source. compared to the synthetic ones, organic flavor enhancers are more various as human has used it ever since they know cooking.
Therefore, the role of organic chemistry in developing flavor enhancer is very important in food industry as people like to have a tastier meal.
- Moisture Preserver
While organic preservative mostly works by drain out the liquid of the food substance, moisture preserver helps to keep the moist within food or food ingredients. Most common food source that needs moisture preserver is hay and leaves.
And popular moisture preserver such as propionic acid often sells for animals feeding. Organic chemistry has wider branch and possibility as it has open source. therefore, moisture preserver in nature is easier to look for than by creating it in laboratory.
In order to prevent food oxidated too fast, it will need antioxidant. Antioxidant help to slow oxidation within the ingredients of the food and keep the nutrient inside. The most popular organic compound as antioxidant is vitamin C or ascorbic acid and vitamin E or tocopherol.
The good thing of using natural and organic compound is that it can have more than one function. For example carotenoid is a good substance for natural color additive, but it also has antioxidant function. Therefore, by using this element it will save cost for food production.
- Bulking Agent
If food lovers ever wonder why noodle, bread, pasta can swell just by heat, there is a food additive called bulking agent. Bulking agent in bakery usually use baking soda. But most foods that can swell use starchy based chemical additive such as amylum.
The source of starch can be from wheat, acorns, bananas, maize, potato oats and many more. Thus, it turns out that many foods that humans eat use bulking agent and most of bulking agents come from nature as it does not alter the taste of the food but only joins the glucose compound of the food.
- Lactic Acid Producer
Lactic acid generates from natural source such as milk as the most famous source. The lactic acid has various role and crucial one as it has many benefit in food processing. It helps to assist fermentation to produce yogurt, cheese, soy sauce meat product and many more. Surely, these products are very popular and needed by human.
It also helps to stabilize the bacteria within food and stabilize the pH of the food. As lactic acid mostly from cow milk that is part of organic chemistry, it proves how important organic chemistry is in food industry.
Other functions of organic chemistry in food industry:
- Anti foaming agent
- Anti caking agent
- Acid regulator
- Flour treatment
It is important to understand organic chemistry in food processing as most of it involve organic compound. That is all about the importance of organic chemistry in food industry.