Frozen food research receives historical recognition

December 02, 2002

Research that significantly contributed to the high quality and widespread acceptance of frozen foods will be recognized in a special ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., on Dec. 11. The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, will designate the research -- known as time-temperature tolerance studies -- as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The research was conducted at the Center between 1948-1965.

Attila Pavlath, Ph.D., immediate past-president of the Society, and a former researcher at the Center, will present a bronze plaque commemorating the studies to James Seiber, Ph.D., director of the Research Center. The American Chemical Society established the chemical landmarks program in 1992 to recognize seminal historic events in chemistry and increase awareness of the contributions of chemistry to society.

Concerned about the poor quality, color and flavor of frozen foods, manufacturers turned to the Department of Agriculture following the end of World War II for research assistance to investigate the problems. The project was assigned to the Western Regional Research Center where scientists were able to determine the optimum time and temperature at which foods could be frozen. The experiments, which came to be called time-temperature tolerance studies, were conducted on frozen fruits, juices, vegetables, poultry, beef, precooked foods and bakery products.

The studies, which were the first systematic investigations into the quality problems then surrounding frozen food, uncovered chemical changes that frozen foods were undergoing as they made their way from the manufacturer to the consumer.

The scientists found that zero degrees Fahrenheit is the critical temperature for maintaining stability in most frozen foods.

The studies also revealed valuable information about the maximum time that frozen foods can be kept above zero degrees without deteriorating. Another major outcome of the research was the development of models that could be used to predict the stability and quality of a wide variety of frozen foods over time.

The freezing procedures, analytical techniques, and food handling and storage recommendations that came out of the research were instrumental in the enormous post-war success of the frozen-foods industry, with sales rising from $500 million to $68 billion between 1950-1999. The industry now has a work force of more than two million people.
Dr. James Seiber, Director, Western Regional Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

American Chemical Society

Related Agriculture Articles from Brightsurf:

Post-pandemic brave new world of agriculture
Recent events have shown how vulnerable the meat processing industry is to COVID-19.

Agriculture - a climate villain? Maybe not!
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that agriculture is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases, and is thus by many observers considered as a climate villain.

Digital agriculture paves the road to agricultural sustainability
In a study published in Nature Sustainability, researchers outline how to develop a more sustainable land management system through data collection and stakeholder buy-in.

Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need to be better, say researchers
The environmental effects of agriculture and food are hotly debated.

EU agriculture not viable for the future
The current reform proposals of the EU Commission on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are unlikely to improve environmental protection, say researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Göttingen in the journal Science.

Global agriculture: Impending threats to biodiversity
A new study compares the effects of expansion vs. intensification of cropland use on global agricultural markets and biodiversity, and finds that the expansion strategy poses a particularly serious threat to biodiversity in the tropics.

A new vision for genomics in animal agriculture
Iowa State University animal scientists helped to form a blueprint to guide the next decade of animal genomics research.

New pathways for sustainable agriculture
Diversity beats monotony: a colourful patchwork of small, differently used plots can bring advantages to agriculture and nature.

The future of agriculture is computerized
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab Open Agriculture Initiative have used computer algorithms to determine the optimal growing conditions to improve basil plants' taste by maximizing the concentration of flavorful molecules known as volatile compounds.

When yesterday's agriculture feeds today's water pollution
Water quality is threatened by a long history of fertilizer use on land, Canadian scientists find.

Read More: Agriculture News and Agriculture Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to