The editors and advisory board hope every piece of content in Food Quality & Safety magazine contains at least one (and hopefully more) teaching moments. I define a teaching moment as an “Aha” or “Wow” where a piece of knowledge is conveyed in a way that will be filed and remembered for future reference or the reader will say, “Now there is something that I/we can use in our operations.”
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I’m fortunate to have many of these moments over my career in the food industry. Going far back to sophomore year at Rutgers University, I can thank Dr. Roy Morse. The topic for the day in our food science laboratory was blanching. Dr. Morse tossed a 303 x 406 can plus two 8-ounce bags of spinach to a man in the class and challenged him to put 1 pound of spinach in the can. The student worked like crazy and got about 5-6 ounces in the can. Dr. Morse then put the contents of two more bags into a steamer. He covered the steamer and two minutes later, voila—a pound of spinach goes easily into a can. Lesson #1: Blanching reduces volume and removes intracellular air. The blanched spinach also had a bright green color—Lesson #2: Blanching fixes color. Dr. Morse then ran an enzyme assay to show that proper blanching inactivates enzymes. Very applied, very visual, and easily remembered.
I can thank Dr. Fergus Clydsedale of the University of Massachusetts for another teaching moment. Dr. Clydsedale did a talk on “Food Facts and Fallacies” while on sabbatical at UC Davis. One of his stories resonated with me for years. He asked students how would they react to the following proposal if they worked for the FDA:
I have a new business. I am going to create an army of giant six-legged, winged creatures. Each day, I will let them out of the barn and encourage them to eat and eat. When they return in the evening, another giant winged creature will stimulate them to regurgitate on the floor after which the second creature will fan the vomit with its wings to dry the material out. This will lower the water activity and help preserve it. I will then package the product and sell it to the public.| | | Next → | Single Page
About Richard Stier
Richard Stier joined Food Quality & Safety as a Co-Industry Editor in January 2018. He is a consulting food scientist with international experience in food safety (HACCP), food plant sanitation, quality systems, process optimization, GMP compliance, and food microbiology. He has worked with a wide range of processing systems and products, including canning, freezing, dehydration, deep-fat frying, aseptic systems, and meat processing. Rick has been instrumental in helping processors develop the quality, food safety, and sanitation systems needed to compete in today’s market and grow their business. In addition to being a food safety, GMP, and quality systems auditor, he is also certified as a seafood and meat and poultry HACCP instructor from AFDO and by the International HACCP Alliance. Rick’s international experience includes completing projects in over 50 countries and working with over 650 food processors around the world. He is an instructor for the Preventive Controls Qualified Individual training and has received instruction in the Foreign Supplier Verification Program. Rick is a member of the IFT, IAFP, and the NCAACC. Reach him at Rickstier4@aol.com.