Safety, Quality, and Nutrition of Food Products
Food product safety, quality, and nutrition are intrinsically linked and address a foundational need in society. Consumer attitudes toward the consumption of food products (fresh or processed) are critical to marketing success and may be formed based on product safety, quality, and nutritional value. Losing market shares would impact producers, processors, retailers, and the consumer. According to a 2016 study commissioned by the North American Meat Institute, companies in Texas that are directly involved in producing meat, poultry, and related products employ 146,464 people (1.87 million nationally) and an additional 354,960 jobs (3.54 million nationally) in related industries. Additionally, the manufacture and sale of meat, poultry, and related products generated an estimated $87.39 billion in economic activity in Texas ($1.02 trillion nationally). The scope and utilization of research findings and outreach activities in this area are tremendous. Examples include but are not limited to USDA’s Nutrient Database updates, National Beef Quality Audit, Meat Science Lexicon development, the establishment of a searchable validation database for food safety, determination of antimicrobial efficacy, and contributions to the Research Guidelines for Cookery, Sensory Evaluation, and Instrumental Tenderness Measurements of Meat. Efforts have also reduced food wastage due to spoilage, disease-related losses in animal production, and the burden on the human healthcare system caused by chronic and acute conditions.
We aim to be the world leader in the Safety, Quality, and Nutrition of Food Products. Our vision is to provide leadership in research, support, and training in food safety, quality, and nutrition and the relationship between these areas. This will help us enhance the quality of life for a global population through excellence in developing and disseminating information and technologies to students, industry professionals, and the public.