The processed food and beverage industry is the largest manufacturing sector in Australia, and with the world population projected to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050, food is increasingly becoming a global issue.
The Food Science major will prepare you to play an important role in meeting the expanding needs of the local and international food industries. You will build on a firm foundation in the basic sciences to develop sound skills and knowledge in food biotechnology or food science and technology.
Career choices for Bachelor of Science graduates with a Food Science major are vast and growing, including:
- Food safety and regulation
- Nutrition assessment
- Quality assurance
- Research and product development.
You can be employed by companies that support food manufacturers by supplying food additives and ingredients, processing equipment and packaging materials. If you have an interest in teaching and research, you can find rewarding careers in universities and research institutes.
Career opportunities are not limited geographically and you may also find work with international bodies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization or the World Health Organization.
Subjects you could take in this major
Advanced food analysis will teach students most rapid and standard conventional methods commonly used in food analysis.
These analytical techniques will include:
- The selection of appropriate scientific methods for a specific food analysis, physical and chemical parameters
- Principles of instrumentation and/or methodology and applications of these principles to the technologies employed in analytical techniques
- Comparison of instrumental and/or rapid methods to conventional techniques of analysis
- Operation, calibration and standardisation procedures as applicable to particular techniques
- Troubleshooting techniques in conventional and rapid analyses
- Assessment and evaluation of data derived from researches and product development
Methods to be examined are titration, rheology, chromatography (HPLC, GLC, ion exchange separations, spectrophotometry, UV, visible, infrared); AA; mass spectrometry; ELISA, fluorescence spectrometry, and sensory.
The aim of this subject is to provide students with an understanding of the science and technology associated with the processing of materials of plant and animal origin into food and food products and their preservation by traditional and modern techniques. An integrated presentation embodying chemical, microbiological, nutritional and engineering aspects will be adopted. Practical exercises, demonstrations and site visits will provide experience in commonly applied technologies.
The content includes:
- Basic unit and factory operations
- Preservation and processing by: moisture control, application of heat, removal of heat, chemical additives, fermentation and emerging technologies
- Food packaging
- Science and technology of production of selected food products from plant and animal sources
The aim of this subject is to provide students with an understanding of the systematic processes involved in food research and product development. This subject represents a capstone experience for the food science major. It will allow students to experience and conduct basic research projects (minimum six weeks equivalent).
It is anticipated that students will implement the knowledge they have gained via foundation and specialised studies through preparation of a research proposal, and executing that proposal in a laboratory or industry environment. The outcome will involve the development of a new food product, or solving a problem facing the food industry through knowledge of market research, product design and evaluation, packaging, safety, quality and regulatory requirements.
The content includes:
- Research concept and proposal preparation
- Market research and understanding consumer needs
- Product lifecycles and research case studies
- Idea generation and evaluation
- Product and process development - project planning
- Formulation development and evaluation
- Process development
- Shelf-life testing; consumer testing
- Market trial and strategy development
- Product specification; raw materials, process, finished product
- Product evaluation, environmental impact and regulatory issues; packaging and labelling
This subject examines the macro structure of food and the chemistry of the components as part of a food matrix. This will include the interactions between emulsifiers and flavours within a food matrix, and interactions between water-proteins, water, lipids, protein-proteins, protein-lipids, protein-carbohydrates, and carbohydrate-lipids.
Specialised topics will provide students with a greater understanding of nutritional and sensory characteristics of foods, particularly where new product development involves novel functionality such as conferring health benefits or new physical traits.