Degree: Bachelor of Science
Contact: Eric A. Decker
Office: 236 Chenoweth Lab
Head of Department: Professor F.M. Clydesdale. Professors Chinachoti, Decker, Hultin, Labbe, Levin, Mahoney, Peleg; Associate Professors McClements, McLandsborough, Shetty; Adjunct Faculty Caswell, Clayton, Francis, Mudgett, Nawar, Schwartzberg, Nolan, Lupien, Taylor.
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 three major options: Food Science and Technology, Food Health and the Environment, and Food Industry.
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 290A), 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.
This option is designed for students who wish to combine managerial and business skills with a background knowledge of food science and technology in order to prepare for jobs in food industry management, food marketing, consumer relations, and food policy and regulation. Students take a core of business courses including economics, management, marketing, and merchandising in combination with courses in food processing, food products, food preservation, 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:
ˇResearch and Developmentˇinvestigating scientific principles of food products.
ˇProduct Developmentˇdeveloping new food products or improving the quality and/or safety of existing products.
ˇTechnical Salesˇserving the food industry with technical knowledge of raw materials, ingredients, and technology for the manufacture of specific food products.
ˇQuality Assuranceˇanalyzing components of food products and monitoring the finished product for conformity with company and government standards.
ˇInternationalˇhelping citizens of developing nations improve their food handling and storage procedures through various agencies such as the World Health Organization.
ˇRegulationˇdeveloping policy and enforcing food sanitation and labeling regulations as part of federal and state regulatory agencies.
ˇManagementˇorganizing 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. FD SCI 101, 120 or 150
2. Four of the following courses:
FD SCI 265 Survey of Food Science
FD SCI 381 Elements of Food Processing Engineering
FD SCI 466 Hygenic Principles of Food Handling
FD SCI 467 Food Microbiology
FD SCI 541 Food Chemistry
FD SCI 542 Food Chemistry
FD SCI 561 Food Processing
FD SCI 580 Food Borne Diseases
FD SCI 581 Food Analysis
NUTR 230 Basic Nutrition or Equivalent.