Biology To meet the word's nitrogen requirements, biologists are attempting to exploit nitrogen-fixing bacteria and blue-green algae that live in fields, forests, and oceans.
Animal Production Chemists can make a majore contribution to animal production by developing (a) new sources of nonprotein nitrogen that are effective, safe, and inexpensive to use in the diets of forage animals, and (b) acceptable growth stimulants for use in animal feeds.
Fish Production Research can be expanded to improve fish feeds, control fish diseases, and develop sex-controlling chemicals. Aquaculture technology in the tropics and subtropics can help alleviate food shortages--fish are extremely efficient converters of feed into proteins. There are many opportunities for chemists to contribute to fish production research.
Chemists can contribute in the following areas of food processing and production.
Food Additives Additives facilitate processing, handling, distribution, and preparation of foods in the home; they control chemical, physical, and biological changes; they extend shelf life of foods; and they improve sensory and nutritive properties. Without additives, there would be few convenience foods, and certain fresh fruits and vegetables would not be available year round. The search for effective additives from natural sources is the domain of the natural products chemist.
Food processing and preservation Nitrites have, in the past, been added to smoked and cured meats to improve color and to inhibit the growth of the toxic botulism organism. Nitrite additives are no longer acceptable because under certain conditions of heating and storage, they react with other constituents of the food to produce minute quantities of nitrosamine, which is carcinogenic in rats. Chemists are engaged in a research program to determine the mechanism by which nitrites inhibit botulism, and with this information, to develop safe alternative preservatives.
Development of unconventional sources of food and feed In modern times, various attempts have been made to use microbial cell mass, sometimes called SCP (single-cell protein) as a major protein source. Research chemists have found ways to couple certain carbon source substrates, such as methanol, methane and wood hydrolyzate, with teh appropriate microorganisms to produce SCPs for a variety of uses. Presently, major constraints in the widespread use of SCPs are economics (production costs are considerable and vary with the raw material), medical problems (nucleic acids in yeast have been found to increase blood uric acid levels, leading to an increase of gout), and nutritional limitations ( high nucleic acid levels and low levels of two essential amino acids, methionine, and tryptophan).
Psychology Relationship of eating disorders to nutritional needs.
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