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Food Technology and CAD/CAM

What is CAD in food?
CAD stands for 'Computer Aided Design', not 'Computer Aided Drawing'. Therefore, when designing food products all aspects of its design need to be taken into account, with the most suitable (and appropriate) ICT tools being used. CAD in food can cover:

  • Using graphic packages to design the physical appearance of the product (if appropriate)
  • Using DTP for packaging and label design
  • Using spreadsheets to calculate costing, portion size and ratio of ingredients
  • Calculating the energy and nutrients provided by a product using nutritional analysis packages
  • Constructing star profiles/diagrams to indicate the sensory characteristics of a product
  • Calculating the mould-free shelf-life of a product, thereby investigating microbiological considerations
  • Exploring the interaction of ingredients, leading to a better understanding of the functional properties of food. For example, the BNF Interactive Food Facts CD-ROM incorporates Balance, a piece of industrial CAD software that allows pupils to model the functional properties, shelf-life, physical appearance and nutritional properties of a cake product which they design on-screen.

CAM in Food
CAM is a broad term used when several manufacturing processes are carried out at one time aided by a computer. These may include:

  • Process control
  • Planning
  • Monitoring
  • Controlling

Essentially, CAM in school is about using a computer (or equipment that can be electronically set) to aid the manufacturing process. For example:

  • Using a word processor/DTP/drawing package to develop a flow chart
  • Monitoring and datalogging, eg pH and temperature probes
  • Temperature/cooking times using equipment that can be electronically set, eg microwaves/oven timers
  • Measuring, eg electronic scales
  • Electronic bread making machines (time (proving and baking), temperature, speed (kneading) are all controlled and monitored)

 



 

 
 

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