Graduate studies in food science prepare students to apply the principles of science and engineering to ensure the quantity, quality, variety, attractiveness, and safety of foods. Graduates pursue careers in industry, academia, and governmental agencies.
FSHN faculty address a wide-variety of research areas related to food science, including these general focal areas of strength: food chemistry, food microbiology, food processing/engineering, and human nutrition. Within the area of food chemistry, faculty members are studying sensory science, flavor chemistry, manipulation of storage components, food safety and toxicology, structure-function behavior, and chemical stability of foods. Students interested in food and fiber (biomass) microbiology may desire to study with faculty members whose research addresses microbial aspects of food safety, quality, and safety or the use of fiber fermentation to produce biofuels. Areas such as genetic and physiological manipulation of bacteria, growth conditions and their effects on microbes, and fermentation can apply to foods or biofuels. Food microbiology related to topics such as food safety, food production, and food preservation are also related to human health.
Food science students interested in food processing and engineering can benefit from studying with faculty members researching topics including the effects of thermal processing on fats and oils, bioprocessing, state-of-the-art novel processing technologies, heat and mass transfer analysis, rheology, the use of acoustic ultrasound in processing, production systems modeling and optimization, and development of bio-based, biodegradable resins, and plastics.
Choosing a faculty advisor
Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in food science should review the list of faculty members and their research areas. Graduate student applicants must have a faculty member willing to train them and serve as their major professor before they can be accepted into the Department.