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The deepest impacting discovery of the XX century derived from food science

MOJ Food Processing & Technology
Antonio Salatino,1 Marco Aurelio Sivero Mayworm,2 Maria Luiza F Salatino1

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The Haber-Bosch process, an industrial fixation of atmospheric nitrogen into crop fertilizers, enabled increasing rates of food production soon after the First World War. The process contributed to alleviate famine episodes and to reduce the occurrence of sicknesses derived from malnutrition. Higher provision of food and health improvement in the second half of last century led to increasing rates of world population and the emergence of health problems derived from excess calory intake. Overpopulation and obesity are examples of present-day crises with roots in the Haber-Bosch process. Incoherently, despite the deep impact of the process in recent history, both Haber and Bosch are prominent characters of science history almost unknown by people all over the world.


nitrogen fixation, crop fertilizers, famine, overpopulation, obesity