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University of Idaho (Food Science & Toxicology)

Food science is a multidisciplinary science that applies biology, chemistry, nutrition, engineering, and other sciences to improve the safety and quality of food products, develop new food products, and design new, safer, and more energy efficient food processes. The multi-billion dollar food industry is the largest manufacturing industry in the United States. Food scientists are employed around the worked by large and small food processing companies, food ingredient suppliers, food quality assurance and testing labs, federal and state governmental agencies, and academia. There are more job openings for food scientists in the food industry than graduates to fill them. This trend is expected to continue well into the 21st century. Consequently, starting salaries for food scientists are highly competitive.

Career opportunities are excellent. Entry level jobs in the food industry include food product development, food process development, food quality assurance, food safety compliance, and technical sales. Food scientists work to enhance the quality of foods through biotechnology, as well as improve the microbial and chemical safety of foods. Food scientists develop new food flavors, extend the shelf life of foods, and devise new processing technologies. All of the food products in a grocery store and many foods offered on restaurant menus have been developed and tested by food scientists.

The Department of Food Science and Toxicology offers the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in food science. The undergraduate program is approved by the Institute of Food Technologists, the primary professional organization for food scientists. Students complete university requirements, supporting science and mathematics classes during their first two years of study. Most of these courses can be completed at community colleges, prior to transferring to UI. Courses taken in the last two years of the program are discipline specific and include food microbiology, food chemistry, food processing, and food engineering.

Faculty from both UI and Washington State University teach courses in the food science program. Some classes are taught on the UI campus and some on the WSU campus, allowing students access to facilities and faculty expertise from both institutions. Students are encouraged to work on research problems with faculty and participate in internships in the food industry.

School name:University of IdahoFood Science & Toxicology
Address:6th Street & Rayburn Street
Zip & city:ID 83844 Idaho
Phone:(208) 885-0707

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