Food and its functions
The basic function of food is to keep us alive and healthy, to grow and to reproduce. In this book we shall consider how food does this, although we shall also need to think about many other related matters. Indeed, we cannot answer such a fundamental ‘How’ question without first finding out the answer to some simpler ‘What’ questions, such as what is food, what happens to it when it is stored, processed, preserved, cooked, eaten and digested. The answers to such questions can only be found out by experiment, and many different sciences play a part in helping to provide the answers. In recent years the study of food has been accepted as a distinct discipline of its own and given the name food science.