What's on the Net?
July 1999 -- Focus On
By: Heidi Kreuzer
What's on the Net? What isn't on the Net these days? Perhaps the more appropriate question to ask is: "What's on the Net for food scientists and product developers?" The answer is plenty - all you need is Web access and a browser, and you're ready to go. For general food-industry information, www.foodingredientsonline.com and www.foodonline.com provide a good starting point for exploring the Web. These sites contain supplier information, industry news, employment assistance, discussion forums for food professionals and archived editorials, along with event listings and links to food-related books, equipment and supplies.Board meetings For subject-specific cyber surfing, marketing-board sites often prove to be treasure troves of information and advice. For example, the Walnut Marketing Board's site, www.walnut.org, supplies industrial formulas for baking with walnuts, as well as walnut-nutrient data and a list of suppliers in California. At the Almond Board of California's site, www.almondsarein.com, the handy "Tips for Technologists" brochure is available for downloading from the Nuts (&Bolts) section. The brochure is in the form of a PDF (portable document format) file, which can easily be viewed with the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader program, available as a free download at www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html. The advantage to PDF files is their flexibility across operating systems - not only are they readable in all environments, but the document's appearance is preserved, complete with fonts and formatting. Meanwhile, at the home of the incredible edible egg, www.aeb.org, the American Egg Board provides information on egg nutrition, safety and recipes, as well as the Eggcyclopedia, an alphebetized index of egg-related data. If you need to know how to freeze an egg, here's the answer, along with information on such topics as albumen, foam, calcium content and microwave recipes. The National Honey Board has devoted a section of its site specifically to information for food technologists. At www.nhb.org/foodtech/index.html, there's information on honey's composition, physical characteristics, sensory aspects, functionality and applications, as well as product formulas and information on suppliers. This site also offers fact sheets and a technical brochure in PDF format. In its Grains of Truth pages, the Wheat Foods Council's site at www.wheatfoods.org delivers information on products ranging from pancakes to pasta. In the Nutrition Forum section, Judi Adams, M.S., R.D., president of the council, maintains a question-and-answer bulletin board, displaying both visitor's nutrition queries and her responses to the questions. Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) also encourages question submissions by giving those who visit its www.doitwithdairy.com site the opportunity to send a detailed dairy-ingredient query to the organization's technical-support group. The site also contains a number of documents that detail how dry milk and whey ingredients can be used in food products. Additionally, DMI's site at www.dairyinfo.com provides information on the dairy industry at large.Association sites Food-industry association websites present an additional source of information for food developers. For example, the American Association of Cereal Chemists' (AACC) home page at www.scisoc.org/aacc contains links to the association's Cereal Chemistry journal, as well as a listing of available short courses. Functional Foods Online, a nutraceuticals and functional-foods forum developed by the AACC, can also be accessed from this home page. There, you'll find articles on such topics as dietary fiber, resistant starches and bakery-product fortification, along with supplier information and an events listing. The Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) site, www.ift.org, also contains information on events, providing an extensive listing of short courses, conferences and exhibitions. In addition, the IFT home page offers information on the organization's Annual Meeting and Food Expo®, as well as links to education, employment and career-development sites. Other professional association sites include:
The National Association of Fruits, Flavors and Syrups - www.naffs.org.The National Food Processors Association - www.nfpa-food.org.The American Institute of Baking - www.aibonline.org.The American Oil Chemists' Society - www.aocs.org.AOAC International (formerly known as the Association of Official Analytical Chemists) - www.aoac.org.The International Food Information Council - http://ificinfo.health.org.Government domains The federal government maintains a vast network of sites, many of which are very useful to those in the food industry. The sheer scope of the information housed in these sites can perhaps be a bit overwhelming, but the pages are nevertheless excellent sources of information. A good place to start is the Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) site at www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/index.html, which is administered by the USDA's Agricultural Research Center (ARS). If you are interested in the sugar content of a particular food, for example, clicking on the "Food Composition" button brings up a number of nutrient-information sites, including USDA-ARS's Nutrient Data Laboratory at www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/. Or, clicking on the "Food Safety" button brings you to the Foodborne Illness Education Information Center. From here, you can access such sites as www.foodsafety.gov, which contains scads of information on foodborne pathogens, including the creatively titled "Ten Least-Wanted Foodborne Pathogens" page at www.fightbac.org/problem/10-least.html. Further information on food safety can be found at http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov, the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and www.foodsafety.org, a multi-agency site funded mainly by the USDA. The International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements site, located at http://odp.od.nih.gov/ods/databases/ibids.html, is a searchable database with over 300,000 listings. Developed jointly by FNIC and the National Institutes of Health, the goal of the database is to provide a comprehensive index of published research on dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals and botanicals. While full-text articles are not available due to copyright restrictions, a list of journals provides assistance with obtaining copies of the publications. Other government sites to bookmark include:
The Food and Drug Administration - www.fda.gov.The United States Department of Agriculture - www.usda.gov. (Incidentally, when pointing your browser to this site, be sure the last three letters you type are "gov." Typing "org" will do-si-do you directly to the home page of the United Square Dancers of America - the "other" USDA.)Agricultural Research Service - www.ars.usda.gov.Federal Register (National Archives and Records Administration) - www.nara.gov/fedreg.Code of Federal Regulations - www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/index.html. While not a government-operated site, www.foodcompliance.com is a good commercial site for those looking to find answers to the regulatory and compliance questions that may arise during the food-development process. Taking full advantage of the site requires a $25-per-month membership fee, although much of the site's information is available for free. The Internet can be an extremely valuable research-and-development tool. The sites mentioned here will lead to additional resources, and before long you'll become an expert at finding information online. Traveling cyber space may take a little getting used to, but once you've tried it, there's no going back - chances are you'll soon be joining the ranks of the numerous habitual (and often Internet-addicted) Web visitors. Food Product Design Online - A Virtual Tour
Welcome to www.foodproductdesign.com. My name is Ms. Mega Byte, and I'll be your tour guide today. I'll be taking you on a step-by-step journey through the space on the World Wide Web that Food Product Design likes to call home. During the tour, please feel free to direct any questions to my virtual ear at [email protected]. (Please note, however, that for your own safety, I encourage you not to forward chain letters or randomly surf to other sites during the tour.)Stop 1: If everyone will please point their browsers to our home page at www.foodproductdesign.com, we'll be ready to begin. I recommend using either the latest version of Netscape or Internet Explorer as your browser. Also, I tend to think that our pages look best at a resolution of 800x600 pixels - please feel free to adjust your screen settings at this time. If you've visited this site before, you may want to hit "reload" or "refresh" to ensure that you are seeing the lastest version of our site. Also, if you haven't already made a bookmark to this site, you may want to do so now.
(At the same time hit buttons "Ctrl" and "D").Stop 2: On the left-hand side of the home page, please observe the table-of-content entries, which describe the articles in our current issue of the magazine. The full text of these articles becomes available online on or about the 15th of the month following the current magazine's issue date.Stop 3: Next, on the right-hand side of the page, you'll see see a series of red buttons, the first of which is titled "Read Food Product Design." Please click on this button now. (For those of you who are choosing not to load graphics, equivalent text links are available on the bottom of the page.)From this page, you have access to the entire contents of the last two issues of Food Product Design. Not only can you read the latest feature articles - Cover Story, Design Elements, Applications and Culinary Connection - but you can also catch up on sections such as Events, News and the Publisher's and Editor's Pages.Also, be sure to check out the Product Spotlights and Company Portfolios sections, where you can fill out an online reader service card to request information on the companies and products featured in these sections.Stop 4: Now, please direct your attention to the frame on the left-hand side of the page, and click the link entitled "Search Editorial Library." (Note: The sections represented in the frame, which serves as a navigation aide, can be accessed from the home page as well.)In the Editorial Library, you'll find the text from all of Food Product Design's feature articles since the magazine's first issue in April of 1991, organized into handy categories for ease of access. Stop 5: If you will now please re-direct your attention to the frame on the left-hand side of the page, you will see a "Letters to the Editor" link. Clicking here allows you to send correspondance directly to the editor - compliments and suggestions about the editorial content are always welcome, as are questions and/or complaints. (Dissertations on the current state of affairs in Micronesia are slightly less welcome, although an attempt will be made to respond to each and every letter.)Stop 6: Looking once again to the left-hand side of the page, you will see links entitled "Subscribe" and "Request Media Kit." Click on the former to submit a subscription request and/or renew a subscription, and click on the latter to request Food Product Design's media kit, complete with editorial calendar, rate cards and other information on the publication.Stop 7: Next, clicking on "Advertiser Links" in the frame on the left hand side of the page will bring you to a listing of all of Food Product Design's advertisers, along with the URLs of the companies with websites. From here, you can leap to any advertiser's site with ease.Stop 8: If you will now please click on the "Home Page" link in the upper left-hand corner of your screen, you will find yourself back at our starting point. While you're here, be sure to click on the link to Food Ingredients Online, Food Product Design's partner in cyberspace. Here you'll find an online buyer's guide, as well as a host of food-industry information.Thanks for joining me on this tour of www.foodproductdesign.com! (Please feel free to send a generous tip to the Food Product Design offices, to the attention of Ms. Mega Byte.) Academia in Cyber Space University webpages provide yet another resource for food scientists. One of the most valuable services these sites provide is information on short courses and continuing-education classes. These sites also are good sources of information on current research projects in food science. Cornell University - www.nysaes.cornell.edu/cifs/start.htmlIllinois Institute of Technology's National Center for
Food Safety and Technology - www.iit.edu/~ncfsIowa State University - www.fcs.iastate.edu/fshnMichigan State University - www.msu.edu/unit/fshn North Carolina State University - www.cals.ncsu.edu/food_science/index.htmlOhio State University - www-fst.ag.ohio-state.eduPurdue University - www.foodsci.purdue.eduUniversity of California-Davis - www.ucdavis.eduUniversity of Florida - www.ifas.ufl.eduUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - www.aces.uiuc.edu/~fshnUniversity of Minnesota - http://fscn1.fsci.umn.edu Back to top