Graduate coursework in food technology builds on concepts introduced in undergraduate courses by looking at more complex issues of food science, such as food preservation and genetic engineering. These programs in food science usually require a research component that develops into a thesis or dissertation project. Concepts covered in these courses include:
- Chemical make-up of food
- Changes to chemical structure
- Food toxins
- Prevention of food spoilage
- Microbiology of food products
- Food processing and engineering
List of Common Food Technology Courses
Advanced Instruction in Food Chemistry Course
This course examines the chemical elements that comprise various types of foods, such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It also addresses the changes a food's chemistry undergoes during processing, preserving and packaging. During both lecture and laboratory sessions, students learn to assess the effects a food's chemical makeup has on its taste, color, texture and nutritional value.
Principles of Food Toxicology Course
Students learn about potential food toxins that can develop during food preservation processes. Some programs use this course to introduce Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures, which are enforced at all stages of food production and packaging. However, other programs address the HACCP system in a separate postgraduate course.
Advanced Instruction in Food Microbiology Course
An advanced course in microbiology typically focuses on food-borne pathogens. These microbes, if left unchecked, cause food to spoil during processing or distribution. Lectures also provide students with the latest information on methods of microbial control.
Food Processing and Engineering Course
This postgraduate course addresses food processing procedures and equipment. Some programs offer separate courses for the processing of different types of food, such as dairy, cereals, beef and poultry. This course often takes into account instruction gained in previously completed courses in food chemistry, toxicology and microbiology.
Research Topics in Food Technology Course
A research project is often a required component in postgraduate programs, although some master's degree programs offer a non-thesis option that requires additional coursework in lieu of a thesis. Typically, a research course allows students to explore the topic they ultimately present in their thesis or dissertation. A student usually works together with an advisor to develop course goals and requirements.