Food Science | Courses | Faculty
Degree: Bachelor of Science
Contact: Lynne McLandsborough
Office: 236 Chenoweth Lab
Phone: (413) 545-1016
Head of Department: Professor Eric A. Decker. Professors Labbe, Levin, Mahoney, McClements, Peleg, Shetty; Associate Professors McLandsborough, Park; Assistant Professors Goddard, Nugen, Xiao; Adjunct Faculty Caswell, Dickinson, Lupien, Rowe, Taylor, Volpe
Food Science, broadly defined, is the profession that deals with the scientific and technological aspects of foods and related products. The food scientist is concerned with determining the chemical, biological, and physical nature of food in terms of quality, safety, and nutrition, with the application of science and engineering to the processing, and storage and use of food and food-related products. Food scientists’ training must be truly interdisciplinary in order to provide the nation and the world with a nutritious, safe, and wholesome food supply.
The Department of Food Science is housed in a modern, four-story building which offers excellent classrooms and well-equipped laboratories for in-depth investigation of chemical, microbiological, biochemical, and processing problems associated with food quality and safety. Also available is a well-equipped pilot plant capable of manufacturing a wide variety of pasteurized, frozen, dried, smoked, and fermented food products.
Majors in Food Science can choose between two major options: Food Science and Technology or Food Health and the Environment.
Food Science and Technology
This option is designed for students who wish to pursue industrial careers in research or technology development or who wish to enter graduate school. Students take a combination of courses in basic and applied sciences. Required math and science courses include calculus (MATH 127 and 128), general chemistry (CHEM 111 and 112), organic chemistry (CHEM 261, 262 and 269), analytical chemistry (CHEM 312), biology, physics, microbiology, and biochemistry. Food Science requirements include food processing, food chemistry, food microbiology, food engineering, and nutrition.
Food, Health and the Environment
The food industry is becoming increasingly aware of the interrelationship of foods, health, and the environment. Students in this option study the basic sciences while exploring complex problems related to food policy, nutrition, food safety, and toxicology in order to prepare for jobs in regulation, quality assurance, and product development. Basic math and science requirements include CHEM 111 and 112, and organic chemistry, as well as courses in math, biology, physics, microbiology, and biochemistry. Depending on a student’s interest, additional courses in food science, nutrition, environmental science, public health, and resource economics are used to fulfill graduation requirements.
Home-cooked and restaurant-quality foods that are quickly prepared, delicious, and convenient are now the standard sought by consumers. This demand has created job opportunities in the food industry for individuals with expertise in both culinary arts and food science. The Department of Food Science has developed a unique program in Culinology® that has been accredited by the Research Chefs Association. This program combines culinary arts and food science by accepting students with a two-year culinary arts degree and providing them with a science-oriented framework that enables them to obtain a B.S. in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in three years. Basic science requirements include CHEM 111 and 112, organic chemistry, as well as courses in mathematics, statistics, physics, and microbiology. Food Science requirements include food processing, food microbiology, food chemistry, and nutrition.
The sheer size and diversity of the food industry in this country, and the need for food professionals in developing countries, make it possible for an individual to find employment in a wide variety of satisfying areas. Some typical areas in which an individual with a B.S. degree in Food Science might work are:
—Research and Development—investigating scientific principles of food products.
—Product Development—developing new food products or improving the quality and/or safety of existing products.
—Technical Sales—serving the food industry with technical knowledge of raw materials, ingredients, and technology for the manufacture of specific food products.
—Quality Assurance—analyzing components of food products and monitoring the finished product for conformity with company and government standards.
—International—helping citizens of developing nations improve their food handling and storage procedures through various agencies such as the World Health Organization.
—Regulation—developing policy and enforcing food sanitation and labeling regulations as part of federal and state regulatory agencies.
—Management—organizing and operating small to medium size food processing companies.
An advanced degree, M.S. or Ph.D., allows for even broader opportunities in basic research and/or teaching in industry, government, or various private and public institutions of higher learning.
A student must complete 15 credits of the courses below for a minor in Food Science.
1. FOOD-SCI 101, 120 or 150
2. Four of the following courses:
FOOD-SCI 265 Survey of Food Science
FOOD-SCI 466 Hygenic Principles of Food Handling or FOOD-SCI 567/566 Food Microbiology
FOOD-SCI 541 Food Chemistry
FOOD-SCI 542 Food Chemistry
FOOD-SCI 561 Food Processing
FOOD-SCI 575 Elements of Food Processing Engineering
FOOD-SCI 580 Food Borne Diseases
FOOD-SCI 581 Food Analysis
NUTRITN 230 Basic Nutrition or Equivalent.
Food Science | Courses | Faculty