Perhaps one of the most used applications of statistics is to summarize the enormous amount of data that is collected in any field. Food science is no exception. As methods of analysis of food characteristics (physical, chemical, sensorial, etc) improve more data is available. To make sense this data is summarized in easy graphs, tables and figures that can translate data into a more comprehensible information.
The use of graphs can be applied to food processes to visualize if they are under control. These are known as control charts. Control charts graph in real time a parameter that should be watched (for example, temperature). Limits are also placed on the graph so food plant personnel can easily see if the process is under "statistical control" and make the necessary adjustments if the process is "out of control".
Food science also devise research application in which the analysis of differences and relationships (cause-effect) are studied. Hypotheses are proposed on the basis of previous work or new ideas of the effects in sample statistics can be assessed for significance, for instance, examination of the change in viscosity when a starchy suspension is heated with many different additives.
Progress in food science and technology is the result of cerefully planned research activity. New information is obtained experiments designed to asses cause-effects relationship or effect of multiple factors. Here statistics can be very helpful (and necessary) to avoid costly or non-meaningul experiments that get reseaarch to nowhere.