Food Science and Technology is a convenient name used to describe the application of scientific principles to create and maintain a wholesome food supply. Food Science has given us frozen foods, canned foods, microwave meals, milk which keeps, snacks, nutritious new foods, more easily prepared traditional foods and, above all, VARIETY in our diets. The Food Scientist helps supply this bounty by learning to apply a wide range of scientific knowledge to maintain a high quality, abundant food supply. Food Science allows us to make the best use of our food resources and minimize waste.
Most food materials are of biological origin. How they behave in harvesting, processing, distribution, storage, and preparation is a complex problem. Full awareness of all-important aspects of the problem requires broad-based training.
To be a Food Scientist and help handle the world's food supply to maximum advantage, you need some familiarity with Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Engineering, and some specialized Statistics.
The curriculum offers three options: Science, Food Business, and Food and Health, in addition to a food biology option with the Department of Biology. The objective of the program is to develop within the student an understanding of the nature, properties, and characteristics of foods as determined through biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and other sciences. Food scientists extend this knowledge to the development of new products, processes, equipment, and packages; to the selection of proper raw products and ingredients; and to the adequate direction of plant operations so that processed foods high in nutritive value and quality are economically produced. Food science and technology is the key to the conversion of raw agricultural materials into a wide variety of properly processed and preserved foods, thus providing an important contribution to the well being, economy, standard of living, and progress of humanity.
Modern scientific and technological progress demands a multidisciplinary approach and thorough training in the basic sciences. Therefore, the curriculum is designed to provide a broad undergraduate program in the basic sciences on which to build technical competence in food science and technology.
The Food Science and Technology major prepares students to apply the principles of science and engineering to better understand the complex and heterogeneous materials recognized as food. There is a great demand in the global food industry and in government for highly knowledgeable and competent food scientists. Opportunities for food scientists include food safety, food quality control, food product development, production management, technical sales and service, ingredient management, research, and teaching. Students completing the science option requirements will also be prepared for graduate and professional schools of medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
The food industry utilizes the technical training of the food scientist in many ways, such as: research and development, manufacturing and production, technical sales and service, management, quality control, inspection services with state or federal government, technical writing, teaching, and consulting work.
The Department of Food Science and Technology is listed by the national Institute of Food Technologists as one of 50 departments in universities of the United States and Canada offering programs in food science and technology.
The department offers a minor (please consult a department representative for requirements), as well as a double-major option in Food Science and Technology to students in all other colleges of the university. Food Science and Technology students may participate in the Cooperative Education Program.