IV. FOOD AND AGRICULTURE. Chemists and chemical engineers have made many contributions to food and agriculture that allow us to raise, harvest, and consume abundant and nutritious food.
Chemists and chemical engineers have made many contributions to food and agriculture that allow us to raise, harvest, and consume abundant and nutritious food.
At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, an average kitchen table would be loaded with produce from the root cellar, garden, or local farm; butter from a churn; eggs from hens penned in the backyard; vegetables from the garden and meat stored in an icebox and cooked over a coal or wood stove.
The last century has brought vast changes in how we get food on our tables by making our farms more productive and our food and water supplies readily available. Modern farmers have utilized new chemical advances to improve agricultural production with fertilizers and pesticides and to develop plentiful food supplies. Consumers have benefited from new technologies that have enhanced the flavor, appearance, availability, and nutritional value of their food.
These advances in chemistry are helping to feedthe world’s rapidly expanding population.
IV.1. Fertilizers and Soil Nutrients
Advances in chemical fertilizers
Green Revolution and hybrid plants
IV.2. Crop Protection and Pest Management
Bordeaux method and fungicides
DDT and pesticides
IV.3. Food Processing, Handling and Safety
Saccharin and sweeteners
Vitamins and minerals
Preservation and manufacturing advances
Food safety and quality control
IV.4. Food Storing
Refrigerants and chlorofluorocarbons
Louis Pasteur vaccinates animals
1881The French scientist Louis Pasteur discovers anthraxvaccine for sheep and hogs.
1883 Danish chemist Johan Gustav Kjeldahl developed a method to analyze the nitrogen content of any organic compound.
1884The French botanist Pierre M. A. Millardet invents the Bordeaux mixture to fight vineyard mildew.
1901John F. Quenny, the founder of Monsanto Company manufactures Saccharin.
1913Two German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch developed the process for the production of ammonia at an industrial level.
1913Elmer V. McCollum and Marguerite David discover Vitamin A in butter and egg yolks.
1918The firm Kelvinator launches the first successful compressor-operated refrigerator for home use.
1933Milk fortified with Vitamin D is sold commercially.
1939The Swiss chemist Paul Mueller discovers the insecticidal qualities of DDT pesticide.
1943U.S. Department of Agriculture chemists develop aerosol dispersion for insecticides and farm applications.
1953Saran wrap for household use is introduced by the firm Dow.
1964The ‘Green Revolution’: Application of new hybrid plants and liquid soil fertilizers helps solve nutrition problems in the developing world.
1972DDT usage banned in the United States. (As the first country in the world, Hungary banned it in 1968).
1974Monsanto introduces its comprehensive and non-tilling Roundup herbicide.
1990 Novel fortifications in food and ‘nutriceutical’ products become commercially popular.
Unit for determining nitrogen content of organic materials by the Kjeldahl method
Pierre M. A. Millardet
Egg yolk contains vitamin A
Originally packaged Saccharin
Milk with vitamin D added
Household refrigerator by Kelvinator
Poster of Monsanto
Originally packaged DDT