Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Agricultural Chemistry is a science concerned with means of affecting chemical and biochemical processes in the soil and plants, with the mineral nutrition of plants and with the use of fertilizers and other chemical means to improve soil and increase yield. Agricultural chemistry also deals with several other means of increasing yield, such as herbicides and growth stimulants, and serves as the scientific basis for introducing chemical processes into agriculture. In its aims, methods, and subject areas of research, agricultural chemistry is related to both the chemical and the biological sciences. It is also closely related to soil science, farming, meteorology, plant physiology and biochemistry, agricultural microbiology, physics, and chemistry. Its primary subdivisions are plant nutrition, the interaction of soils and fertilizers, evaluation of particular types and kinds of fertilizers and the methods of applying them, soil improvement by chemical means for example, the application of lime or gypsum—and research into and use of chemicals for weed control.     

Agricultural chemistry today must carry out further practical and theoretical work in root nutrition in order to raise the coefficient of fertilizer consumption, develop methods to increase plant utilization of the soil’s nutrient elements, and develop new and better fertilizers. Scientific research in agricultural chemistry is being conducted at the central research institutes, at numerous zonal institutes and experimental stations, and in agricultural institutes and university biological and soil sub-departments, where personnel for this field are trained.

Food chemistry is the study of the chemical composition, processes and interactions of all biological and non-biological components of foods. It includes macro- and micronutrients, and the essential nutritional factors that determine the nutritional and energy value of food raw materials and foods. It also includes reactions related to amino acids, peptides and proteins, fats and other lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, mineral substances and water which are responsible for odour, taste and colour that determine the quality of food materials and foods.