Applications of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Food Science

Shelly J. Schmidt, Xiuzhi Sun, J. Bruce Litchfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The physical and chemical changes that occur in foods during growth, harvest, processing, storage, preparation, and consumption are often very difficult to measure and quantify. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a pioneering technology, originally developed in the medical field, that is now being used in a large number of disciplines to study a wide variety of materials and processes. In food science, MRI techniques allow the interior of foods to be imaged noninvasively and nondestructively. These images can then be quantified to yield information about several processes and material properties, such as mass and heat transfer, fat and ice crystallization, gelation, water mobility, composition and volume changes, food stability and maturation, flow behavior, and temperature. This article introduces the fundamental principles of MRI, presents some of the recent advances in MRI technology, and reviews some of the current applications of MRI in food science research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-385
Number of pages29
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • Food analysis
  • Imaging
  • MRI
  • NMR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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