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UNDERSTANDING FOOD: PRINCIPLES AND PREPARATION is a best-selling food fundamentals text ideal for an undergraduate course that covers the basic elements of food preparation, food service, and food science. It is contemporary and comprehensive in coverage and introduces students to the variety of aspects associated with food preparation. UNDERSTANDING FOOD: PRINCIPLES AND PREPARATION, Fourth Edition, thoroughly explores the science of food through core material on food selection and evaluation, food safety, and food chemistry. The various aspects of food service are covered: meal planning, basic food preparation, equipment, food preservation, and government regulations. The final sections of the text cover food preparation, classification, composition, selection, purchasing, and storage information for a range of traditional food items. A rich illustration and photo program and unique pedagogical features make the information easily understandable and interesting to students.

Amy Christine Brown, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Amy Christine Brown received her Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Human Nutrition and Foods. She has been a college professor and a registered dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 1986. Dr. Brown currently teaches at the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine in the Department of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Her research interests are in bioactive plant substances beneficial to health and medical nutrition therapy. Some of the studies she has conducted include "Diet and Crohn's disease," "Potentially harmful herbal supplements," "Kava beverage consumption and the effect on liver function tests" and "The effectiveness of kukui nut oil in treating psoriasis." Selected research journal publications include "Position of the American Dietetic Association: functional foods" (Journal of the American Dietetic Association); "The Hawaii Diet: Ad libitum high carbohydrate, low fat multi-cultural diet for the reduction of chronic disease risk factors" (Hawaii Medical Journal); "Lupus erythematosus and nutrition: A review" (Journal of Renal Nutrition); "Dietary survey of Hopi elementary school students" (Journal of the American Dietetic Association); "Serum cholesterol levels of nondiabetic and streptozotocin-diabetic rats" (Artery); "Infant feeding practices of migrant farm laborers in northern Colorado" (Journal of the American Dietetic Association); "Body mass index and perceived weight status in young adults" (Journal of Community Health); "Dietary intake and body composition of Mike Pigg, 1988 Triathlete of the Year" (Clinical Sports Medicine); and numerous newspaper nutrition columns.
  • Calorie Control feature* explores the energy value of foods and emphasizes portion control--a topic of great interest to students both as individuals and as future food service professionals catering to weight-conscious clientele.
  • Chapter 2: Food Evaluation* responds to reviewers' requests to create a separate chapter on this topic. Instructors can choose to include this topic as part of the basic food course or as a part of an advanced food course.
  • Chapter 4: Food Safety reorganized* to provide an applied approach to food safety. The content is revised to teach students practical tips on preventing food-borne illness that follow food flow--purchasing, storage, preparation, cooking, holding, cooling, reheating, and sanitation. In addition, the content is enhanced with new figures.
  • Expanded coverage of functional foods, specialized food products (e.g., gluten-free foods), and food industry innovations related to ingredients and processing.
  • Thoroughly updated to include the latest research, examples, and techniques related to food principles.
  • "Problems and Their Causes" tables identify common food preparation errors and explain how to avoid them.
  • Sixteen-page, four-color insert displays detailed photographs of various foods covered throughout the text. The text also includes numerous photos and illustrations to provide a visual context to the concepts being presented.
  • Food-related websites are included at the end of each chapter to help facilitate additional student research.
  • An updated LAB MANUAL includes recipes and experiments appropriate for a food principles and food preparation course, covering all the major food categories in the text. It can be bundled with the text for a valuable discount.
  • This text uniquely integrates nutrition, dietetics, food industry, and food service topics, giving students a full overview of the different dimensions of food principles. The food-specific chapters are organized to follow a typical syllabus centered on the major food groups.
  • Chapter 29: Food Careers showcases the variety of career options students have in the food industry. Highlights include careers associated with food service management, food science, and nutrition.
  • "Professional Profiles" sections also introduce students to careers in the food and nutrition fields. These profiles include interviews from real people in the field, sharing their work experiences.
  • "Nutrient Content" sections supply specific data on the nutritional content of different foods.
1. Food Selection
2. Food Evaluation.
3. Chemistry of Food Composition.
4. Food Safety.
5. Food Preparation Basics.
6. Meal Management.
Protein--Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dairy, and Eggs.
7. Meat.
8. Poultry.
9. Fish and Shellfish.
10. Milk.
11. Cheese.
12. Eggs.
Phytochemicals--Vegetables, Fruits, Soups, and Salads.
13. Vegetables and Legumes.
14. Fruits.
15. Soups, Salads, and Gelatins.
Complex Carbohydrates--Cereals, Flour, and Breads.
16. Cereal Grains and Pastas.
17. Flours and Flour Mixtures.
18. Starches and Sauces.
19. Quick Breads.
20. Yeast Breads.
Desserts--Refined Carbohydrates and Fat.
21. Sweeteners.
22. Fats and Oils.
23. Cakes and Cookies.
24. Pies and Pastries.
25. Candy.
26. Frozen Desserts.
27. Beverages.
28. Food Preservation.
29. Government Food Regulations.
30. Careers in Food and Nutrition.

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • ISBN-10: 1133385729
  • ISBN-13: 9781133385721
  • STARTING AT $22.99

  • STARTING AT $45.49

  • ISBN-10: 0538734981
  • ISBN-13: 9780538734981
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $215.25
  • RETAIL $286.95

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access

ISBN: 9781285978802

Lab Manual

ISBN: 9781133607168
The Lab Manual includes recipes and experiments appropriate for a food principles and food preparation course, organized to match the sequence of topics in the text. Each lab begins with an introduction and pre-lab questions, followed by an overview of the objectives, procedures, recipes, and post-lab questions.

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781133609056
Cengage Learning's Nutrition CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Watch student comprehension soar as your class works with the printed textbook and the textbook-specific website. Nutrition CourseMate goes beyond the book to deliver what you need! Learn more at

CourseMate with Diet Analysis Plus, Global Nutrition Watch, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781285091471


Lab Manual

ISBN: 9781133607168
: A Recipe for Success in Your Course! Use the Lab Manual as a valuable tool to help you apply what you learn. It includes recipes and experiments appropriate for a food principles and food preparation course.

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781133609056
The more you study, the better the results. Make the most of your study time by accessing everything you need to succeed in one place. Nutrition CourseMate includes an interactive eBook with highlighting, note taking, and an interactive glossary; interactive learning tools, including quizzes, flashcards, crossword puzzles; and more!

CourseMate with Diet Analysis Plus, Global Nutrition Watch, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781285091471

CourseMate with Diet and Wellness Plus, Global Nutrition Watch, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305652774