Extensive glossary of food manufacturing, science and technology. Macronutrients: Nutrients that the body needs in relatively large amounts. The major macronutrients are protein, carbohydrate, fat, and water.
Mad Cow Disease: - See BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy).
Magnetic flux density: Force that an electromagnetic source exerts on charged particles. Magnetic flux density is measured in Telsa (1 Telsa =104 gauss).
Magnetron: Physical component of a microwave system that generates the microwaves.
Maintenance area: Space provided for holding and disposing of refuse and for washing equipment that is used for this purpose.
Malt extract: Thick syrup or powder made from malted barley. The extract is created by mashing the barley and converting the carbohydrates to sugars.
Malted barley: Barley grain that has undergone the malting process -- immersion in water and sprouting. A key ingredient in premium craft, imported and homemade beers.
Malting: "Melting" grain. Softening grain by steeping it in water and allowing it to germinate or sprout.
MAP (Modified atmosphere packaging): Methods that will help to maintain the quality of a food product by changing the atmosphere inside its retail package. For example, reduce the availability of oxygen or manipulate the levels of carbon dioxide. It produces a gas mix to maximise shelf life.
Margarine: Plastic or liquid emulsion containing a minimum of 80% fat. The liquid portion consists of water and/or milk products. Vitamin A must also be added. Additional ingredients may include salt, colour, additives, emulsifiers and preservatives.
Mashing: Process of crushing malted grains and extracting fermentable sugars for use in the brewing process.
Medium Fat Cocoa: Cocoa powder containing between 10 and 22% cocoa butter.
Mesophile: Microorganisms that grow best at moderate temperatures, with optimum growth at 77°-113°F (25°-45°C).
Metabolism: Complex biochemical processes by which the body generates energy from food, manufactures substances that it needs, and breaks down substances in food into simpler components.
Methionine: Essential amino acid; furnishes (to organism) both labile methyl groups and sulfur necessary for normal metabolism.
Methyl cellulose: Number of gummy substances, produced through reaction between cellulose and methyls. It is found in fruit butters and jellies and serves to keep these products from separating.
Micronutrients: Nutrients that the body needs in small amounts. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients.
Microorganisms: Independent organisms of microscopic size, including bacteria, yeast and mold. When alive in a suitable environment, they grow rapidly and may divide or reproduce every 10 to 30 minutes. Therefore, they reach high populations very quickly. Undesirable microorganisms cause disease and food spoilage. Microorganisms are sometimes intentionally added to ferment foods, make antibiotics and for other reasons.
Microscopic ordering principle: At constant temperature, an increase in pressure increases the degree of ordering of the molecules of a substance.
Microwaves: Electromagnetic waves at frequencies 915, 2450, 5800, and 24225 MHz.
Milk Chocolate: Chocolate with at least 10% chocolate liquor and 12% milk solids, combined with sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla.
Minerals: Inorganic substances such as iron and calcium. Many minerals are essential nutrients.
Minimum weight: All packages have a fill-weight equal to system or greater than that shown on the label.
Moisture and Volatile Matter: Weight loss of a fat or food material after heating for a prescribed time under controlled conditions. The weight loss is accounted for by the loss of water and other materials which escape in the vapor state.
Moisture/Protein Ratio (MPR): Percent moisture of a product divided by the percent protein of a product. Most often used in meat product analysis to determine product safety and shelf-stability.
Molasses: When the juices extracted from sugar cane or sugar beet are boiled down to a lower volume, the removal of water facilitates the separation of sugar in crystalline form. When this process of sugar crystallization has reached its limit, and the sugar crystals are removed, the remaining dark brown thick syrup is known as molasses. Beet molasses is used mainly as animal feed, or it can be fermented to produce alcohol. Cane molasses can also be used to produce alcohol, and since it has quite a pleasant taste, golden syrup and treacle and a range of brown sugars.
Molinillo: Wooden stick with rings attached to bottom; used to whip chocolate drink to create cap of foam on top.
Monitoring: Tracking actual performance versus planned.
Monoglycerides: Chemical compound formed by a combination of one fatty acid unit with one glycerine unit. The addition of monoglycerides to an oil or shortening tends to lower the smoke point of the oil.
Monosaccharides: Monosaccharide is a carbohydrate that cannot be split into smaller units by the action of dilute acids. The largest group of monosaccharides are the hexoses with six carbon atoms in the molecule (e.g glucose, fructose, mannose, galactose). Other monosaccharide categories are the heptoses with seven carbon atoms (e.g. xylose), the pentoses with five carbon atoms, and tetroses with four carbon atoms.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG): Sodium salt of glutamic acid. Glutamic acid, or glutamate, is one of the most common amino acids found in nature. (see glutamate). In the early part of the century, MSG was extracted from seaweed and other plant sources. Today, MSG is produced in many countries around the world through a fermentation process of molasses from sugar cane or sugar beets, as well as starch and corn sugar.
Mould: Group of multi-cellular fungi which grow in thread-like strands called hyphae. A fungus-type microorganism whose growth on food is usually visible and colourful. Molds may grow on many foods, including acid foods like jams and jellies and canned fruits. They usually are not a cause of food borne illness, but in the right environment, cause food spoilage. Recommended heat processing and sealing practices prevent their growth on these foods. Some are introduced into foods to give added flavour, e.g. in some cheeses.
Moulding: Process of passing dough through a moulding machine prior to filling into baking tins. A similar process is used in confectionary production.
Mycotoxins: Toxins Toxins produced by fungi. More than 350 different mycotoxins are known to man. Almost all mycotoxins possess the capacity to harmfully alter the immune systems of animals. Consumption by humans and animals of certain mycotoxins (e.g., via eating infected corn, nuts, peanuts cottonseed products, etc.) can result in liver toxicity, gastrointestinal lesions, cancer and muscle necrosis.
Natural toxins: Naturally occurring substance (e.g., produced in some cases by disease-causing microorganisms) which is poisonous to certain other living organisms.
Net quantity: Actual weight of food contents of a package.
Net weight: Amount of food filled into a container.
Neutral: Substance with a pH of 7.0. Substances with a pH rating close to neutral include meats and milk products (pH 6.4).
Niacin: One of the B vitamins.
Niacinamide (nicotinamide): One of the chemical forms of niacin. Nib: Center (meat) of the cocoa bean. When ground, the nib becomes chocolate liquor.
Nicotine: Addictive substance found in tobacco. It is not related to nicotinic acid.
Nicotinic acid: One of the chemical forms of niacin.
Nitrite: Safe food additive that has been used for centuries to preserve meats, fish and poultry. It also contributes to the characteristic flavour, colour and texture of processed meats such as hot dogs. Because nitrite safeguards cured meats against the most deadly foodborne bacterium of all, Clostridium (C.) botulinum, its use is supported by the public health community. The human body generates much greater nitrite levels than are added to food. Nitrates consumed in foods such as carrots and green vegetables are converted to nitrite during digestion. Nitrite in the body is instrumental in promoting blood clotting, healing wounds and burns, and boosting immune function to kill tumor cells.
Nitrogen: Nonmetallic element that constitutes nearly four-fifths of the air by volume, occurring as a colourless, odourless, almost inert diatomic gas in various minerals and in all proteins. It is used in a wide variety of important manufacturers, including ammonia, nitric acid, TNT and fertilizers.
Nitrosamines: Digestive reaction-product of nitrite, a food additive used to preserve meats, fish and poultry.
Non-ionizing radiation: Rays of energy that move in long, slow wave patterns and do not penetrate cells.
Non-thermal effects: Effects due to the exposure to a process that are not of thermal origin, i.e., cannot be explained by measured temperature changes.
Norwalk virus: Virus that contaminates raw oysters/shellfish, water and ice, salads, frosting, person-to-person contact.
Noxious: Term applied to a substance that is irritating or offensive and which may have a harmful effect on life.
Nuisance: Condition that is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health. Public nuisances affect the public interest and include whatever building or part or cellar that is overcrowded with occupants, or is not provided with adequate ingress and egress, or is not sufficiently supported, ventilated, sewered, drained, cleaned or lighted. Also applies to any act or condition that renders the air or food unwholesome. A private nuisance violates only private rights and produces damages to one or a few people.
Nutrient: Any substance (macro or micro) that gives nourishment; that nourishes and sustains life.
Nutrient density: Nutrient dense foods are those that provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively fewer calories. The opposite of nutrient dense is calorie dense which are foods that mainly supply calories and relatively few nutrients.
Nutritional labeling: Labels that provide consumers with information about a products’ nutritional content.
Odour: Odour is a sensory reaction to vapors inhaled through the nostrils. The odour of fresh fats should be bland and neutral or may be unobjectionable but characteristic of natural oil.
Off odours: Unnatural or uncharacteristic odours i.e. rancid, soapy, beany, sharp, acrid, musty, etc.
Official accreditation: Procedure by which a government agency having jurisdiction formally recognizes the competence of an inspection and/or certification body to provide inspection and certification services.
Official Inspection Systems and Official Certification Systems: Systems administered by a government agency having jurisdiction empowered to perform a regulatory or enforcement function or both.
Officially Recognized Inspection Systems and Officially Recognized Certification Systems: Are systems which have been formally approved or recognized by a government agency having jurisdiction.
Ohmic heating: Ohmic heating is a novel sterilization technique in which heat is generated within a food product due to its inherent resistance.
Oil: In food processing a natural or processed edible fat which is normally liquid under existing climatic or storage conditions.
Omega-3 fatty acids - DHA/EPA: Type of fatty acid found in fish and marine oils which provide the health benefits of reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved mental and visual function.
On-site kitchen: Kitchen in which food is prepared and served at the same location. Also known as conventional or self-contained kitchen.
Open-code dating: Food labels providing consumers with information on when food was processed and packaged, when it should be sold or withdrawn from the market, or when the product is no longer acceptable for sale.
Open-kettle canning: Not recommended as a canning method. Food is supposedly adequately heat processed in a covered kettle, and then filled hot and sealed in sterile jars. Foods canned this way have low vacuums or too much air, which permits rapid loss of quality in foods. Moreover these foods often spoil because they become recontaminated while the jars are being filled.
Organic farming: Food produced without the use of synthetic chemicals and with concern for the environment.
Ordinary oil:Olive oil of a good quality and acidity not exceeding 3.3%, and may be a mixture of refined and cold pressed oils.
Oscillating magnetic fields: Magnetic fields generated with electromagnets of alternating current. The intensity varies periodically according to the frequency and type of wave in the magnet.
Osmose: Tendency for fluids to mix, or become equally diffused, when in contact. It can be observed between fluids of differing densities. Osmose may be regarde as a form of molecular attraction, allied to that of adhesion. Also see, endosmose and exosmose.
Osmotic pressure: Chemical force caused by a concentration gradient. It is a colligative property and the principle behind membrane processing.
Outbreak: An incident in which two or more people experience the same illness after eating the same food.
Over-Tempered Chocolate: Overtempered chocolate is chocolate that has been overcooled producing large crystals. The increased viscosity with large crystals means that at the coating stage the temperature of the chocolate must be raised to melt some of the crystals. The inconsistency of the melting leaves too few, and too large crystals for proper setting. The chocolate has a coarse grainy structure that gives a dull appearance, poor snap and makes it more susceptible to fat migration and bloom.
Oxidation: Chemical reaction involving the addition or combination of oxygen with another material. The oxidation of food fats is to be avoided from both aesthetic and nutritional viewpoint.
Palatability: Pleasant to taste, being acceptable.
Pantothenic acid: One of the B vitamins.
Parasite: Animal or plant that lives in or on another from whose body it obtains nourishment.
Pasteurisation: Process designed to reduce the population of pathogenic bacteria in a product, sufficient to ensure product safety but with modest impact on the nutritional properties and flavour of the product. Traditionally, this term has been applied to thermal processes but it can also refer to emergent alternative technologies with the purpose of pathogens inactivation.
Pasteurised: Milk or milk product that has been exposed to a process of pasteurization wherein every particle of that milk or milk product is heated in properly designed and operated equipment to a specified temperature and then held continuously at or above that temperature for at least the corresponding specified time. Pasteurization eliminates pathogen (disease causing bacteria) contamination in milk and products derived from milk.
Pasteurised process cheese food: Variation of process cheese that may have dry milk, whey solids, or anhydrous milkfat added, which reduces the amount of cheese in the finished product. It must contain at least 51% of the cheese ingredient by weight, have a moisture content less than 44%, and have at least 23% milkfat.
Pasteurised process cheese spread: Variation on cheese food that may contain a sweetener and a stabilizing agent, such as the polysaccharide xanthan gum or the Irish moss colloid carrageenan, to prevent separation of the ingredients. The cheese must be spreadable at 70degF, contain 44 to 60% moisture, and have at least 20% milkfat.
Pasteurised process cheese product: Process cheese that doesn't meet the moisture and/or milkfat standards.
Pathogen: Disease-causing agent, usually a living microorganism.
Pathogenic: Capable of causing disease; harmful; any disease-causing agent.
Peak voltage: Maximum voltage (kV) delivered by PEF system.
Pectin: Natural gelling agent and principally used in making jams and jellies. Some fruits are high in pectin content (e.g. apples). Others such as strawberries and raspberries have very little pectin and for these additional pectin (e.g. from Sure-Set sugar) can be very helpful.
Penetration depth: Distance the electromagnetic waves (of a certain frequency) travel in a material before it loses 63% of its energy. Penetrometer: Measurement of the gel strength (the penetration of a plunger of a defined size and weight into the gel is measured).
Perishable: Having a short shelf-life; food that spoils quickly and needs careful storage.
Peroxide Value (PV): Measures the amount of peroxides and hydroperoxides in a sample of fat produced in the oxidation process.
Personal hygiene: Way a person maintains their health, appearance and cleanliness.
Pesticides: Chemicals used to kill pests.
PET: Polyethylene terephthalate, a light-weight clear plastic with acceptable barrier properties to gas and water vapour.
PGA: Polygalacturonic acid.
pH: Scale used to express acidity or alkalinity, from 1 (strong acid) through 7 (neutral) to 14 (strong alkali). The scale is logarithmic, so pH 4 is ten times as acidic as pH 5 and pH 2 is ten times as acidic as pH 3, and so on. pH is a measure of the activity of the hydronium ion (H3O+) which, according to the Debye-Huckel expression, is a function of the concentration of the hydronium ion [H3O+], the effective diameter of the hydrated ion and the ionic strength (µ m) of the solvent. For solutions of low ionic strength (µ m < 0.1) hydronium ion activity is nearly equivalent to [H3O+] which is normally abbreviated to [H+]. Then, for a weak acid (HA) dissociating to H+ and A- with a dissociation constant, Ka and pKa equal to -log10 Ka, the most important relationships are defined the following two equations: Ka = [H+] [A-] / [HA] and pH = log 1 / [H+] = pKa + log [A-] / [HA]
pH value: Measure of the acid/base properties of a substance.
Phytate: Chemical complex (large molecule) substance that is the dominant (i.e., 60 to 80%) chemical form of phosphorous within cereal grains, oilseeds, and their by products. Monogastric animals (e.g., swine) cannot digest and utilize phosphorus within phytate, because they lack the enzyme known as phytase in their digestive system, so that phosphorus (phytate) is excreted into the environment.
Physical hazard: Particles or fragments of items not supposed to be in foods.
Phytochemical: Substances found in edible fruits and vegetables that may be ingested by humans daily in gram quantities and that exhibit a potential for modulating the human metabolism in a manner favorable for reducing risk of cancer.
Pickle pond: Pond where high-density brine is stored.
Pickling: Practice of adding enough vinegar or lemon juice to a low-acid food to lower its pH to 4.6 or lower. Properly pickled foods may be safely heat processed in boiling water.
Plasticizing (votation): Purpose is to develop the finest possible crystal structure in order to produce a shortening or margarine that is smooth in appearance and firm in consistency.
Plato, degrees: Expresses the specific gravity as the weight of extract in a 100 gram solution at 17.5°C. Refinement of the Balling scale.
Polymerization: Undesirable change in the composition of a food fat involving intermolecular agglomeration or clumping of the normal chemical units of fat and its decomposition products into larger and insoluble chemical units.
Polyols: Type of sweetener used in reduced-calorie foods. They differ from intense sweeteners in that they are considered nutritive; that is, they do contribute calories to the diet. Polyols are incompletely absorbed and metabolized, however, and consequently contribute fewer calories than sucrose. The polyols commonly used in the United States include sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, maltitol syrup, lactitol, erythritol, isomalt and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. Most are approximately half as sweet as sucrose; maltitol and xylitol are about as sweet as sucrose. Polyols are found naturally in berries, apples, plums and other foods. They also are produced commercially from carbohydrates such as sucrose, glucose, and starch for use in sugar-free candies, cookies and chewing gum. Along with adding a sweet taste, polyols perform a variety of functions such as adding bulk and texture, providing a cooling effect or taste, preventing the browning that occurs during heating and retaining the moisture in foods.
Polysaccharides: Carbohydrates made up of 8 or more monosaccharide units.
Post harvest waxes: After a fruit or vegetable is picked, it continues to need moisture to stay fresh and edible. To help retain moisture, certain varieties of fresh produce are given new wax coating to replace the natural wax the fruit or vegetable loses during harvest and shipping. If a fungicide is mixed with the wax to prevent molding, retail stores must label the waxed produce.
Potable water: Water from an approved source which meets all drinking water quality standards.
Potentially hazardous foods: Food that is natural or man-made and is in a form capable of supporting the rapid and progressive growth of infectious and toxin-producing microorganisms. The foods usually have high protein and moisture content and low acidity.
Power cycling: Process of the microwave source turning on and off.
ppm (parts per million): Concentration of one ingredient in another; e.g. 1g per 1 Litre is 1ppm
Prague: Powder Curing Salts. A salt-based carrier of meat curing chemicals. When used correctly, 4oz. of formulation salt can be substituted for 4oz. of Prague Powder, providing the exact 156 ppm maximum cure to 100 lbs. of meat.
Precipitation: When a chemical reaction taking place in a liquid results in the formation of a solid product, then the solid product tends to fall (i.e., it "precipitates") out of the liquid. The process is called "precipitation" and the product is called a "precipitate."
Preparation Area: Space provided for the total processing of foods from raw to ready-to-eat. The total preparation area often is divided into functional areas based on the type of work done in the area and the type of equipment used. Examples of preparation areas include bakery, cold food preparation, and hot food preparation.
Pre-plate: System in which food is portioned and plated at a central production facility before it is sent to a receiving kitchen.
Preserve: Maintain quality and safety of food by removing moisture and/or air.
Preservation index: Number calculated to show that the amounts of acid, sugar and salt used in pickles will be enough to prevent spoilage.
Preservation: Process used to slow or stop the progress of spoilage. It allows easier distribution and transport and the food can be stored for longer before use. Preserving food by heat treatment, sugar, salt, acid or preservatives.
Preservatives: Additives prolonging the shelf life e.g. benzoic and sorbic acid and their sodium and potassium salts.
Pressure canner: Specifically designed metal kettle with a lockable lid used for heat processing low-acid food. These canners have jar racks, one or more safety devices, systems for exhausting air, and a way to measure or control pressure. Canners with 20-21 quart capacity are common. The typical volume of canner that can be used is 16 quart capacity, which will contain 7 quart jars. Use of pressure saucepans with less than 16 quart capacities IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
Primary production: Plants and animals produced by the agricultural and fisheries sector.
Priming: Introduction of added fermentable materials in order to enhance carbonation and give a head to the beer. Beer would be flat without it. Most home brewers use corn sugar (about 3/4 cup per 5 gallons).
Principal display panel: Portion of the package most likely to be seen by customers at the time of purchase. Statement of identity and net quantity are must be displayed here.
Prion: Rogue protein, that appears to cause Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Private label: Brand used exclusively by a wholesaler or retailer, and usually not widely advertised.
Proanthocyanidins: Type of tannin found in cranberries, cranberry products, cocoa and chocolate which may provide the health benefits of improving urinary tract health and of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Process (systems) audit>: Can be conducted for any activity that affects the final quality of goods or services. The audit is usually made of a specific activity against a specific document, such as process operating instructions, employee training manuals, certification of personnel for critical operations, and quality provisions in purchasing documents.
Process Authority: Based on regulations, a person or institution with expert knowledge and experience to make determinations about the safety of a food process and formulation. A Process Authority is required to maintain product confidentiality.
Process deviation: Any critical process factor which differs outside an specified value and limit or range limit during the treatment and subsequent handling of a treated food.
Process pressure (PP): Constant holding pressure for any HPP treatment (MPa) (psi). Process pressure should be controlled to +/- 0.5% and recorded to the same level of accuracy. (+/- 500 psi at 100,000 psi) or (+/- 3.4 MPa at 680 MPa).
Process pressure hold time: Recorded time from end of compression to beginning of decompression(s).
Process: Set of interrelated resources and activities that transform inputs into outputs. Resources may include personnel, finance, facilities, equipment, techniques, and methods.
Processing: Treating a food in such a way as to change its nature and properties in order to preserve it, to improve its eating quality or to make useful ingredients.
Product Audit: Detailed study of the products in a product mix to analyze their performance in quantitative and qualitative terms.
Product composition: Specified percent by weight and range limit of stated product ingredients (%).
Product initial temperature (IT): Product IT can be specified as a critical process factor. For HPP processes, IT must be not less than 0.50°C below value-value in all food locations from start of compression time to end of decompression time (°C).
Product pH: Value of pH measured at product IT at atmospheric pressure.
Product process temperature: Temperature at which the process is performed (°C). Initial temperature and process temperature must be monitored at all points of the process if it is an integral condition for microbial inactivation. With some processes, such as HPP, foods will increase in temperature as a function of the imposed treatment and their composition. Final product temperature at process pressure is independent of compression rate as long as heat transfer is negligible.
Protein: Complex, nitrogen-containing substance that is found in food and is essential for the functioning of the human body. Protein molecules consist of long chains of building blocks called amino acids. Some of these amino acids can be manufactured in the human body. Others must be supplied by the diet. The body breaks down food proteins into their amino acid constituents and then reassembles the amino acids into the proteins needed for normal functioning.
Protopectin: Bound, water-insoluble pectin, as it occurs native in fruits.
Provitamin: Compound that the human body can convert into a vitamin. For example, beta-carotene is a provitamin because the body can convert it into vitamin A, as needed.
Psychrophile: Microorganisms that grow best at cold temperatures, with optimum growth at 5° -20°C (41°-68°F) and are capable of growing at refrigerated and room temperatures.
Pulp: Beet pulp is the term applied to sugar-beet slices from which the sugar has been removed by diffusion into hot water. This exhausted pulp is then usually mixed with molasses, and the resultant mixture is dried to produce "dried molassed pulp" (dmp) which is then sold as animal feed.
Pulse rate: Number of pulses per second or input frequency (1/s).
Pulse width: Duration of the pulse. In PEF and for exponential decaying pulse, pulse width can be calculated as the resistance of the food times the capacitor capacitance. This is also called time constant.
Pulsed treatment: Treatment of a food using more than one treatment cycle of specified conditions such that each cycle element is accurately and precisely reproduced until a specified number is achieved. Cycle parameters (i.e. pressure, electrical field) may display a square, ramp, sinusoidal, or other waveform when recorded.
Pyridoxine: One of the B vitamins.