Chair's Welcome

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, we would like to welcome you to our new website. It gives us an opportunity to introduce our faculty, staff, and facilities to you. Our faculty is very student oriented. We welcome the opportunity to work with students and to help them to grow to their potential through careful instruction and guidance. Most of our instructors have an open-door policy where students are seen congregating on a regular basis. Faculty is involved in student organizations, fund raisers, and Enterprise projects that take learning to the next step. The website has been updated to reflect the many changes that are occurring within the department. We currently offer three distinct but related options: Culinology ®, Dietetics & Food Administration, and Food Science.

Culinology ® is our newest option and is closely related to both Food Science & Dietetics. In this option culinary methods are matched to food science techniques. The ultimate goal of this option is to produce “hybrid” specialists for the purpose of product development in the food industry. The main kitchen (“culin” means kitchen in Latin) for our department is currently undergoing renovation and updating. A new modern environment featuring modern and up-to-date technology will be the result of this undertaking. The new equipment will be utilized during the upcoming semesters and the fully remodeled kitchen will be ready in the very new future. Culinology ® is an approved program of the Research Chefs Association.

Dietetics is an option that produces clinical, community or food nutritionists that work in three distinct environments. The clinical dietitian would most likely work in hospitals planning and implementing meals for ill clients. The community dietitian would work with programs that serve populations in need such as the WIC Program advising clients on proper nutrition across the life cycle. The food dietitian would work with large populations such as school districts to provide nourishing meals to varied populations. We are currently updating and improving our curriculum in dietetics to better reflect the American Dietetics Association new guidelines for accredited programs. We also offer a certificate Internship Program through our department that is accredited by the ADA, so opportunities for advanced training in this area is also available.

Food Science is an option that studies how to add value to foods. The food scientist takes raw agricultural commodities and finds ways on a large scale to process these foods so they have longer shelf lives or are more edible. Food scientists work for food processors such as Proctor & Gamble or General Foods in such specialty areas as food engineering, food chemistry, food microbiology, sensory science, quality assurance, or food processing. Both the Dairy Processing and Food Processing Enterprises have recently undergone updating of equipment and both facilities offer excellent opportunities for student to learn more in depth the scope of processing. A new interdisciplinary Special Major in Dairy Science and Technology will be available in the Fall of 2008. This degree features class work in production, processing, packaging, and marketing components of the dairy industry and, like Culinology ®, is a hybrid to serve the Dairy Industry in the San Joaquin Valley. A new Food Science Pilot Plant has also recently been opened by the Center for Food Science and Nutrition Research. This facility will offer more opportunities for student and industry research projects. New equipment already in use at the facility includes a double screw extruder and a programmable cabinet dehydrator. Future plans include an upgrade of this facility to the Institute of Food and Nutrition Innovation. This new facility is already included in the upper tier of the Capital Campaign for the campus and will provide many more research opportunities for our faculty, staff, and students. 

We also offer an advanced degree, a Master’s Degree in Food & Nutritional Sciences. This degree offers opportunities in more advanced training and technology to students who have already completed their undergraduate degree. This degree features a core of classes such as research methods and statistics to students as well as elective classes which a student and their committee tailor to met the specific student needs. A Graduate Thesis, an advanced scholarly work of new research, is the end result of this pursuit.