In order to maintain a high standard of health it is essential that the food, which is consumed in a day’s menu, should have all the nutrients as specified by the National Institute of Nutrition.
This requirement varies with the age, sex, type of work, condition of the body like, pregnancy, lactation, disease, mal-nourished, etc.
There are a variety of drinks and foods, which are consumed by man. Every community has its own food customs and habits, which are based on the availability of the food products like cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, eggs, etc.
In some states if one of the food items is available in abundance, it becomes the main food item of consumption. In some communities meat or any other food is not acceptable, therefore it is not consumed by that community. With the variation in season and climatic condition the food consumption is affected.
Of late, food science is being treated as a scientific basis for the improvement of general health standards which necessarily entails improvement of quality of food. Food and nutrition has become un dimensional as nutrition is according to the needs of specific individual body. Nutritive value of food must be preserved and enhanced in order to get maximum benefit of available food.
Definition of Food
1. “Food is the basic necessity of life. Most people enjoy consuming it.” (Shubhangini Joshi)
2. “Food is that product which nourishes the body. Only those substances which when eaten or drunk and absorbed by the body produce energy and promote growth, repairing tissues and replace these processes are called food.” (Sumati Mudambi & Shalini Rao)
3. “Food is that which nourishes the body….each food does not contain identical amount of nutrients.” (Usha Tandon)
To sum up, Food contains nutrients, which nourish the body. What are these nutrients?
Definition of Nutrition
“Nutrition is the combination of processes by which the living organisms receives and utilizes the materials necessary for the maintenance of its functions and for the growth and renewal of its components.”
(Turner) Nutrition, therefore, is the science that deals with the study of all the processes concerned with growth, maintenance and repair of the living body, which are connected in a direct way with the nutrients supplied by food.
Life chemistry has a series of compounds, which release chemical energy from the fuels such, as glucose supplied by the food products. These chemicals are called enzymes.