Food Science integrates and applies knowledge within the disciplines of chemistry, engineering, biology, and nutrition to preserve, process, package, and distribute foods that are healthy, affordable, desirable, and safe to eat. Food science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of food, beginning with harvesting or slaughtering, and ending with its cooking and consumption. Food scientists analyze food, ingredients, and what causes it to break down or spoil. They are concerned with the safe preservation and processing of food as well as its nutritional value. They can help companies keep tabs on food sanitation, quality control, storage, and marketing.
Some of the subdisciplines of food science include food safety, food microbiology, food preservation, sensory analysis, food chemistry, molecular gastronomy and food physics.
Careers available for individuals holding a degree in nutrition and food science are varied and numerous. Many graduates are working as Nutritionists and dietitians in public health clinics, public and private schools, universities and colleges, hospitals, correctional facilities, and nursing care facilities. Dieticians and nutritionists are also concerned with education and awareness. Teaching their patients how their diets affect their health and well-being is a large part of the job.
Due to an increased awareness in recent years of awareness of the vital role of food in the health, there is a greater demand for professionals trained in nutrition and food science. Nutritionists will play an increasingly important role in the health care system for many years to come.
Is a Degree in Nutrition and Food Science Right for You?
To be successful as a nutritionists or other occupations in the food science industry, you will need to have the following:
- Excellent organizational skills
- Good planning skills
- Good communication skills
- Interest in human health and well-being
- Compassion and sensitivity toward those with health problems
Obtaining a degree in nutrition and food science can help you get in on the ground floor of a diverse, exciting, and ever-growing industry.
A degree usually takes three to four-years to complete. Most nutrition and food science bachelor’s degree programs begin with two years of general education requirements followed by another one to two years of more in-depth study and specialization. Some introductory food science and nutrition courses are also usually offered, such as:
- Advanced chemistry
- Biology, microbiology, and biochemistry
- Food safety
- Microbiology of food
- Agricultural marketing
- Food processing
- Food technology
- Food chemistry
- Advanced nutrition
- Food product development