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What is Food Science?

How did all those food products get to the supermarket? Why are there so many choices? Who invented, processed and packaged them? Who made them safe and healthy to eat? FOOD SCIENTISTS, THAT'S WHO!

Food scientists apply basic principles and knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, engineering and business to research, develop, process, evaluate, package, and distribute foods. Food scientists are responsible for the safety, taste, acceptability, and nutrition of processed foods. They develop new food products and the processes for making them. Food scientists may concentrate on basic research, food safety, product development, processing and quality assurance, packaging, or market research. Food scientists can work in food or food ingredient processing plants where raw foods are converted into beverages, cereals, dairy products, meats, poultry, fish and seafood products, fruit and vegetable products, snacks convenience foods, and animal foods.

Food scientists in basic research conduct investigations into the physical, chemical, and biological makeup of They study the changes that occur in the food products during processing and storage. They test samples for bacteria, yeasts, 'and molds that may make products unsafe or reduce their shelf life. They test the texture, color, . flavor, and nutritive value of food products. Food scientists are also active in biotechnology. These scientists may work with plant breeding, gene splicing, microbial fermentation, and tissue cultures to produce raw products for further processing. They try to convert low-cost food sources such as soybeans or byproducts of processing into nutritious and palatable foods.

Food scientists in applied research work on product development. They create new food products with longer shelf-life such as frozen concentrated orange juice, freeze-dried coffee, dehydrated soups eggs, precooked sausages, granola bars, and juices in juice boxes. Food scientists also work with foods already developed to make them more nutritious and to improve the flavor and texture. They work with marketing people to test public acceptance of new products. Food scientists also prepare ingredient and nutritional labels found on food packages.

In processing plants, food scientists prepare specifications and schedules for production operations. They see that operators monitor each processing step to make sure the products meet government, company, and industry standards.' Food scientists in quality assurance ensure that foods in every stage of processing meet government standards.

Food scientists may study grains, dairy products, meat and poultry, fats and oils, or fish and seafood. Others may work with prepared foods, beverages, or . vegetable products. Some food scientists conduct research into stabilizers, antioxidants, acidulants, flavors, and food additives.

Potential Employers of Food Science Graduates:

Anheuser-Busch Baskin-Robbins Campbell Soup
Carnation Coca Cola Diehl, Inc.
Frito Lay General Mills Gerber
Heinz Hershey Foods Hormel
Kellog's Kraft Foods Land O'Lakes
M & M Mars Candy Nabisco Nestle
Pepsi Pillsbury Proctor and Gamble
Quaker Oats Ralston Purina Ross Laboratories
Sara Lee Smucker's Stouffer
Worthington Foods Starbucks Coffee Co. Cargill Foods
Archer Daniels Midland Co. McConnick & Company, Inc. Folger's
Riviana Foods, Inc. Dreyer's Ice Cream Company Wright Enrichment, Inc.
Community Coffee Manda Fine Meats Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, Inc.
T. Hasegawa USA Inc (flavors) Zapp's Potato Chips Chef John Folse & Company
TIC Gums NASA FDA
USDA Allen Canning Company Baumer Foods, Inc.
Monsanto,Co National Starch and Chemical  
 


For More Information on any of our programs, Contact:

Food Science: Dr. Joan M. King (jking@agctr.lsu.edu)

Dietetics or Nutrition: Dr. Carol O'Neil (coneil1@lsu.edu)

Dietetics or Nutrition: Dr. Carol Lammi-Keefe (clammi-keefe@lsu.edu), Dietetics, Nutrition

Graduate program: Dr. Marlene Janes, (mjanes@agcenter.lsu.edu) Graduate program

revised: 10-Mar-2017 10:19