Food Science and Technology utilizes the combined disciplines of science and technology in an effort to improve the safety, health, preservation quality and availability of the local and global food supply in order to help better feed the world.
The Food Science and Technology major offers students the opportunity to use science in exciting and innovative ways, with a focus on hands-on learning. Depending on the degree option they choose, students might develop and test new food products, study the pathogens that cause foodborne illness, or learn the art of brewing beer or winemaking.
Career 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 or food and health option requirements will also be prepared for graduate and professional schools of medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
A food scientist studies the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of food. Depending on the area of specialization, Food Scientists may develop ways to process, preserve, package, or store food, according to industry and government specifications and regulations. Food science and technology is the key to the conversion of raw agricultural materials into a wide variety of properly processed and preserved foods.
Virginia Tech's Food Science and Technology undergraduate program is nationally recognized and ranked among the top 10 food science programs in the country.
The program offers four degree options for undergraduate students:
- Food Business
- Food and Health
- Food and Beverage Fermentation
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 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 or food and health option requirements will also be prepared for graduate and professional schools of medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.
The food industry also 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 approved by the national Institute of Food Technologists and listed as one of 50 departments in universities throughout 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 also participate in the Cooperative Education Program.