The Future of Food course focuses on 3 main aspects of the food industry: science, social, and business/marketing. For the science aspect, we conduct labs by cooking certain foods and learning the science behind why the food behaved the way it did. We try different treatments and observe how the food reacts, and study how ingredients interact at a molecular level. One example of a recent lab was cooking bread with four different types of flour to determine how different amounts of gluten affect the bread’s texture and how much it rises. We have also met with food scientists at different laboratories to get science lessons from professionals and to see how food science is incorporated into their everyday lives at work.
For the social aspect, we did a research project where we each selected a country that is food insecure, determined the main causes of their insecurity, and formulated potential solutions. We have analyzed current food trends to better understand why people purchase the products they do. We also focus on the business and marketing aspect of the food industry. For our CAPStone project we develop a novel food product or service and determine how to market it successfully. We are currently working on designing a brand name, logo, packaging, and a website for our products.
Future of Food is fortunate to have the support of local businesses and research organizations. We typically go on at least one site visit a week to interact with industry professionals. So far, we have been to K-State Olathe, DuPont, Corbion, Feed Me Creative, Guetterman Family Farms, Christopher Elbow Chocolates, and Shatto Milk Company.