University of Massachusetts Amherst

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About the Food Science Department

One of the top Food Science Ph.D. research programs in the U.S.

The Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst was recently ranked the number one food science Ph.D. research program in the United States by the National Research Council. The 2010 study evaluated graduate programs according to several criteria, including faculty research productivity (publications, citations, grants, awards), student completion rates, and diversity. We are extremely proud that our department was ranked first in three of the evaluated categories. View our top three rankings here.

First in the Nation

Food science as a formal academic discipline began at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1918, and now, almost a century later, it remains one of the world's preeminent food science programs. Learn more about our history here.

By the Numbers

Fiscal Year 2013

Tenure-Track Faculty 14
Postdoctoral Fellows 12
Undergraduate Majors 104
Graduate Students 68
Visiting Scholars 24
Research Awards $4,533,000

Research Areas

Food and Environmental Biotechnology:
Biological systems for modification of whole organisms, tissues, cells, proteins, and bio- logical molecules; development of novel plant tissue cultures; and whole plant systems.

Physical-Chemical Properties of Food:
Molecular-structural basis of food properties; mechanical testing of foods; nanotechnology and development of ingredients that improve food texture, appearance, taste and healthfulness.

The Safety of Food:
Microbiological problems in food handling and consumption; detection and prevention food borne pathogens and microbiological hazards, development of natural antimicrobial agents, and seafood safety.

Foods for Health and Wellness:
Characterization of the health promoting properties of bioactive food components; characterization of molecular properties of novel food ingredients; policy issues involving functional foods.