Food science benefits consumers every day with healthier diets, better tasting affordable foods, and increased food safety. In the Department of Food Science and Technology, you really do get to play with your food! Food Science is an exciting area that applies a blend of basic sciences such as biology, chemistry and physics with microbiology, biochemistry, mathematics and engineering to improve the taste, nutrition and value of the world's food supply. The Food Science and Technology curriculum includes hands-on experiences that supports classroom instruction with practical applications and creative opportunities for product development.
Demand for Food Science and Technology graduates has never been greater. Practically 100% of Virginia Tech's Food Science and Technology graduates have jobs in product development, research, sales and marketing, quality assurance, production management, analytical and technical services and regulatory affairs at graduation. Food processing is the largest industry in the United States. This industry employs nearly 2 million people and accounts for more than 16 percent of the country's gross national product. In a recent survey of U.S. Food Science programs, Virginia Tech ranked 6th nationally in placing Food Science B.S. graduates into graduate or professional schools.
The Virginia Tech Department of Food Science and Technology is the only food science department in Virginia. The program is recognized by the national Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) as having curricula and options that meet the "IFT Undergraduate Education Standards for Degrees in Food Science." Students enrolled in these programs are eligible to apply for IFT Scholarships. The Virginia Tech Food Science Club is a student chapter of the national IFT organization and houses the Product Development and College Bowl teams that permits students to meet professionals in the food industry, develop leadership skills and enhance their educational experience. Students have excellent opportunities for internships as an additional way to explore different facets of the food industry.
The Food Science and Technology building is home to a 5,000 square-foot processing pilot plant, a fully-equipped research winery, a cutting-edge high-pressure processing area as well as laboratories modernly equipped for chemical, physical and microbiological analysis of foods. Due to the department's success and growth we expanded to the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building (HABB1) and the Integrated Life Sciences Building in the VT Corporate Research Park. HABB1 is, located across the street from our present building provides the department with additional laboratories, pilot plants, taste panel and food preparation facilities, conference rooms, graduate student research spaces and faculty and staff offices. In the Department of Food Science and Technology you may receive a Bachelor of Science in one of four options: Food Business, Food and Health, Science or Food and Beverage Fermentation.
The Department also offers a minor, as well as a double-major option in Food Science and Technology to students in all other colleges of the university. Students completing the Science or Food & Health option requirements will also be prepared for graduate schools and professional schools of pharmacy medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. Food Science and Technology students have the opportunity to participate in stimulating undergraduate research projects and internships.
The graduation requirements in effect at the time of graduation apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year of your expected date of graduation. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as "Checksheets". The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion.
The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program. However, the university will not alter degree requirements less than two years from the expected graduation year unless there is a transition plan for students already in the degree program.
Please visit the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html for degree requirements.
University policy requires that students who are making satisfactory progress toward a degree meet minimum criteria toward the General Education (Curriculum for Liberal Education) (see "Academics") and toward the degree.
Satisfactory progress requirements toward the specific degree can be found on the major checksheet by visiting the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html.
Head: J.E. Marcy
Professors: R.R. Boyer, S.E. Duncan, J.D. Eifert, J.E. Marcy, S.F. O'Keefe, M.A. Ponder, S.S. Sumner, and R.C. Williams
Associate Professors: D.D. Kuhn, A.C. Stewart and L. Strawn
Assistant Professors: H. Bruce, H. Huang, J. Lahne, R. Ovissipour and Y. Yin
Research Faculty: E. Chang, M. Chase, B. Driver, J.A. Eifert, K. Hurley, H. Wang, K. Waterman, B. Weirsema, M.Wright and J. Wu.
Research Associates and Technicians: Y. Feng , J. O'Hair, K. Phetxumphou and A. Sandbrook
Adjunct Faculty: A.M. Dietrich
Administrative Staff: J. Boling, A. Hood, T. Pauley and T. Rakestraw
Fundamentals for food science and technology. Integration of basic principles of food safety, human nutrition, food spoilage, and sensory evaluation with the appropriate technology of food preservation and processing.
Food as a method of studying scientific principles and development of society, including acquiring, preserving, processing and consuming foods. Integration of chemistry, biology and physics of grains; salt and spices; meat, poultry, and fish; dairy and eggs; fruits and vegetables; and fat and oils, with the advancements in and the cost to human civilization from historical and ethical perspectives of food production. Scientific principles demonstrated in food preparation.
Explores the history of food production and processing relative to the commencement or continuation of conflict. Examines why and how wars have been fought over economic policies, food trade and control of food supplies. Examines efforts to protect food and water supplies from intentional contamination and acts of terrorism. Focus on food products and the preservation, processing and distribution technologies that arose from war and conflict.
Variable topics in food science and technology such as emerging trends, challenges and regulatory policy. Qualitatively and quantitatively explore relevant and timely issues facing food systems. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits with different topics. Pre: Sophomore standing.
Introduction to functional foods (foods with additional value beyond basic nutrition) including development of functional foods, novel sources, and traditional foods with value-added health benefit; regulatory issues; and media messages.
Principles of sensory evaluation including theory, sensory physiology and psychology, experimental methods, applications, and statistical analysis.
Development of a working knowledge of world wine styles, wine appreciation, and sensory evaluation of wine. Emphasis on the influences of grape growing and winemaking practices on wine quality, style, economic value, and significance in global food culture. Pre: Must be at least 21 years of age.
Study of chemical reactions important in brewing of beer and hard cider. Effects of variations in malting, mashing, and other processing steps on characteristics and quality of beer; fruit sugar, acid and fermentation impacts on cider composition and quality. Investigation of reactions that cause flavor deterioration.
Muscle biology and biochemistry, fresh meat processing, meat merchandising, processed meats, food safety, meat cookery, and regulations.
Data analysis, sampling techniques, theory and practice of chemical and physical methods of food analysis for determination of food composition; application of analytical methods of quality control and food laws and regulations.
Role of microorganisms in foodborne illness, food quality, spoilage, and preservation. Control of microorganisms in foods. Method to enumerate, identify, and characterize microorganisms in foods.
Application to the food industry of principles and standard practices of research and product development; functionality of food ingredients; students will work in teams to design and develop a new food product.
Chemistry, biochemistry, and processing aspects of malting and brewing operations in the production of beer. Barley, malting, hops, brewing operations, fermentation and finishing operations examined. Laboratory exercises focused on malting and brewing. With permission of department required.
Variable advanced topics in food science and technology such as emerging trends, challenges and regulatory policy. Qualitative and quantitative exploration of relevant and timely issues facing food systems. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits with different topics. Pre: Junior standing.
Basic principles of unit operations. Heat and mass transfer. Equipment in commercially important food processing applications. Raw food materials and packaging. Processing methods to ensure food safety and quality.
Safety and good manufacturing practice of food processing. Operation of key equipment found in the food industry. Collection, analysis and interpretation of data acquired in lab exercises. Documentation and reporting of findings.
Process design considerations for food and beverage fermentations, and other industrial fermentation processes. Critical process parameters, and instrumentation for fermentation process monitoring. Hands-on process instrumentation for fermentation.
Overview of the chemical and functional properties of food components including major (water, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes and lipids) and minor (vitamins, minerals, flavors, pigments) constituents; chemical, biochemical reactions and physical phenomena occuring during food handling, processing, and storage; their impact on the nutritional and sensorial quality of food.
Monitoring safety and quality of food as well as compliance with government regulations. Description of regulatory agencies and food regulations. Development of specifications, food standards and safety critical control points. Systems to assure a safe and quality product, including acceptance sampling and statistical process control.
Investigation of functional properties of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in processed foods including effect of environmental conditions; solubility, foaming ability and textural properties of proteins, carbohydrate crystallization, ability of polysaccharides to form gels and pastes, lipid absorption and tenderization, characterization of a natural-occurring enzyme.
Sampling and analysis of pre-and post-fermentation foods and beverages to determine process termination, efficiency, and formation of desired and non-desired products. Laws and regulations pertaining to fermented foods and beverages. Distillation as an analytical tool and as a production method for food/beverage products.
Overview of causes, transmission, and epidemiology of major environmental, food, and water borne diseases. Outbreak and sporadic detection, source tracking and control of pathogens. Overview of the impact of foodborne outbreaks on regulatory activities at the national and international level. Corequisite: Enrollment in either FST 3604 or BIOL 4674.
Physiology, biochemistry, and genetics of microorganisms used for production of food ingredients, fermented foods, and beverages. How microorganisms are used in fermentation and the effects of processing and manufacturing conditions on production of fermented foods.
Introduction to the broad range of fermented foods and beverages. Defining quality parameters of fermented foods and beverages. In-depth examination of the processing methods and equipment employed in commercial-scale production of fermented foods and beverages. Historical, cultural, sensory, and nutritional attributes of fermented foods and beverages. Course requirements may be satisfied by taking FST 3604 or FST 4504 prior to or concurrent with course.