Undergraduate Program

From creating low-fat ice cream flavors that don't taste low-fat, to developing packaging that protects food from E. coli and other pathogens, food scientists work to ensure the foods that fill your shopping cart are safe, nutritious and delicious.

Ingolf Gruen with students

If you're interested in using the latest in food manufacturing to turn agricultural commodities into products that consumers want to buy, then a career in food science and nutrition is for you.

Career Opportunities

A bachelor's of science degree in food science and nutrition from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) will provide you with all the skills you'll need to succeed in a wide variety of food science and nutrition careers.

You can individualize your degree program by choosing between four degree options that prepare you for the career field that most interests you. Some careers you might consider include:

  • Food engineers are employed by some of the world's largest and most respected private industry companies, including Del Monte Foods, General Mills, H.J. Heinz and Kellogg. They apply the principles of many scientific disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, molecular biology, nutrition and microbiology to the challenges of food production.
  • Product developers find employment with many of the same companies as food engineers. Their job, however, focuses more on other aspects of food manufacturing such as consumer acceptability, economics, production feasibility and marketing. Developers also explore new ways to enhance nutritional value and health benefits.
  • Quality assurance supervisors work in private industry but also are employed by government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration. They are responsible for reviewing safety and manufacturing protocol to ensure that the food you eat is safe and of the highest quality.

Other typical job titles include:

  • Brand manager
  • Corporate executive
  • Environmental sanitarian
  • Food technologist
  • Food scientist
  • Plant manager
  • Production manager
  • Sensory scientist
  • Technical sales representative

Educational Mission and Learning Objectives

It is the educational mission of the Food Science Program of the University of Missouri to provide our students with the scientific knowledge required to become successful food scientists that can work in industry, government or academia. We believe that the characteristics that best describes a successful graduate of our Food Science Program at MU include not only the ability to understand and solve technical problems in the food and related industries, but also the ability to function well as a team player with excellent time management and communication skills. We create experiences for and develop these skills in our students in a variety of ways, including lectures, discussions, case studies, projects, laboratories, field trips, internships and study abroad experiences.

Students graduating from the University of Missouri Food Science Program are able to:

  • Use their success skills to locate, apply and competitively interview for job opportunities in the food industry, government of academia
  • Manage their time between several projects to maximize their efficiency
  • Work independently or in interdisciplinary teams in the food industry, government of academia
  • Express their opinions and knowledge about food science verbally and in written format
  • Review and excise and apply pertinent knowledge from the scientific literature
  • Adapt and/or develop methods to analyze raw ingredients and finished food products chemically, microbiologically and sensorially
  • Conduct experiments on ingredients and food products, statistically evaluate and interpret the results to make inferences about the need for food processing applications
  • Participate in food science related research
  • Use their food science knowledge to develop new food products and to keep food products microbiologically and chemically stable and safe
    • Use their knowledge of food chemistry to anticipate, understand, and describe to others the chemical changes occurring during food processing and storage
    • Use their knowledge of food microbiology to preserve and ensure the safety and microbial stability of food products by applying the principles of HAACP and GMP
    • Use their knowledge of food processing to determine and execute the appropriate processing steps to assure that food products undergo desired chemical changes and become microbiologically stable
    • Use their knowledge of sensory science to choose appropriate methods to determine the sensory properties of food ingredients and food products
  • Increase their food science knowledge to stay current in the area of food science by being able to independently seek out and learn new material
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