Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Aguilera J.M. (2018)

Food engineering into the XXI century

Revista : AIChE Journal
Volumen : 64
Número : 1
Páginas : 2-11
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Origins and Evolution of the Food IndustryThe agro-food sector is the biggest industry in the worldand food processing, responsible for preserving, trans-forming and distributing our foods, the largestmanufacturing sector in several countries.1,2In fact, the foodand beverage business is massive in the number of peopleinvolved, the tonnage of processed materials and the diversityof products delivered to market. The food processing industryis unique among the chemical-based industries in that productsderived from biological sources are chosen not by objectiveproperties (e.g., purity, units of activity) but largely by elusivecharacteristics like taste, tradition, and emotions. It is alsopeculiar to this industry that most industrial processes werescaled-up from empirical artisanal practices before a funda-mental scientific knowledge was available. Contrary to what iscommonly thought, most processed foods are provided bysmall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as theinformal sector, while the top 10 multinational food compa-nies account for around 15% of the world’s sales, with eachindividual company contributing less than 3.3% of the total