Examples of the activities of food scientists include the development of new food products, design of processes to produce these foods, choice of packaging materials, shelf-life studies, sensory evaluation of the product with trained expert panels or potential consumers, as well as microbiological and chemical testing. Food scientists at universities may study more fundamental phenomena that are directly linked to the production of particular food product and its properties. In the U.S., food science is typically studied at land-grant universities.
Some of the subdisciplines of food science include:
The main organization in the United States regarding food science and food technology is the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), headquarted in Chicago, Illinois, which is the US member organisation of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST). The European national organisations are organised into the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST), based at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
In the October 2006 issue of Food Technology, IFT President Dennis R. Heldman noted that the IFT Committee on Higher Education gave the current definition of food science as follows: "Food Science is the discipline in which the engineering, biological, and physical sciences are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of deterioration, the principles underlying food processing, and the improvement of foods for the consuming public.