Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Harvard University
Ready to eat food is in no way to be confused with fast food, as this highly technical journal illustrates. The Journal of Ready to Eat Food (JREF) publishes “original research articles on processing for preparation/ alteration of ready-to-eat foods/ snacks etc. prepared using grains like cereals, minor millets, legumes and oilseeds, also from fruits, vegetables, tuber crops, forest originated edibles, medicinal food materials, animal and marine products etc. either solely or in composite forms by opting fortification, value addition and self stability of the food.” The journal’s goal is to disseminate rapidly significant research in developments in food processing and augmentation to the scientific and industrial communities.
The journal appears to be written for the Indian food science community. Most of the editorial board consists of research scientists, engineers, and faculty members affiliated with Indian institutions and companies (one board member is from the Food Technology Program, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia), and much of the research reported here has been conducted in India. However, this research will also be useful to other countries studying food production, processing, and preparation techniques.
A detailed look at a recent article will give you a good idea of what you’ll find here. The abstract for the article, “Optimization of Process Parameters for Hot Air Puffing of Wheat-Soy Based Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Snacks: A Response Surface Approach,” begins: “The experiments were carried out to prepare wheat-soy snack food with maximum soy fortification up to 7.5 % in refined wheat flour. The cold extrudates prepared by adding 0.5384 kg/kg dm initial moisture content to wheat-soy composite flour could be optimally steamed at 70 kPa for 10.75 min and puffed in whirling bed hot air high temperature short time (HTST) puffing system at 215 °C for 30 s.” The Introduction begins, “The importance of breakfast cereal is gaining significance in an era of changing life-style, rapid urbanization, convenience and above all, a health-conscious society.” The article goes on to describe the materials and methods used in the Experimental Setup for Preparation of HTST Air Puffed Snack Foods, including schematic diagrams, tables of process parameters, polynomial response surface model equations, data analysis, coefficient regressions, surface plots, solutions reached, and conclusions, along with an illustration of the optimal wheat-soy ready-to-eat snack food sample.
The articles in JREF are in English (sometimes grammatically rough) and are, as you can see, very technical. But they will speak clearly and coherently to anyone engaged in the study and preparation of ready to eat foods, so this is a title that should be brought to the attention of researchers in food technology and agricultural engineering.