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Department of Food Science

 

 

 

Food Science involves the application of scientific principles in the development and supply of safe, nutritious and affordable food. Food scientists have been involved in the development of many novel food products that are now freely available in shops, e.g. long-life milk, frozen and canned foods, snack foods and ready-to-eat meals. Food scientists are trained to meet the challenge of developing and supplying foods that comply with the ever-changing demands of the modern consumer. Just as importantly, food scientists lead the fight against hunger and malnutrition through the development of affordable, nutritious foods. Examples are instant weaning porridges and vitamin- and mineral-fortified staple foods.              

A food scientist must be knowledgeable about the chemical composition, structure and nutritional value of food, food processing and preservation techniques, and the chemical, physical and biological changes that occur in food during processing, preservation and storage.

The food industry is South Africa’s largest manufacturing industry, and a degree in Food Science is your stepping stone to various exciting and challenging careers. The multidisciplinary nature of the Food Science courses, as well as exposure to the industry (visits to food factories, practical work in the Department’s pilot plants), allow Food Science graduates to pursue a large variety of careers in the food and the food-related industries, based on each individual’s personal interests.

The interface between food science, nutrition and health is an area of increasing concern to consumers, government and the food industry. There is an increase in consumer awareness of the impact of diet and the foods we consume on health-related diseases and well-being. Government recognises the multifactorial causes of hunger and malnutrition in our region and is committed to addressing this issue. Since consumers rely on the food industry to provide healthy, nutritious, safe and high-quality processed foods, food scientists and nutritionists employed by food and related industries will play an increasingly important role in the future to ensure that consumers have access to safe, high-quality foods that are nutritionally beneficial. 

KNOW DEPARTMENT OF FOOD SCIENCE IN A NUTSHELL

 

News

First in-depth look at West Coast’s own Heaviside’s dolphins - 17/04/2014
All Heaviside’s dolphins found along southern Africa’s West Coast are related, and belong to one of two major populations. This is one of the findings of the first in-depth genetic study about this endemic dolphin species that is only found from Table Bay to southern Angola. The species may be sensitive to overharvesting by the hake fishing industry.
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The world beyond 2015 – is higher education ready? - 17/04/2014
‘We are very good at communicating to a scholarly audience, but one of our challenges is how to transfer that information to a broader audience, in other words the general public. There is definitely room for us [universities] to do more of that.’ This was the response of Prof Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria (UP), to one of the questions posed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as part of a new international campaign.
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Minister Derek Hanekom launches Centre of Excellence in Food Security - 16/04/2014
South Africa's drive to create a competitive and food secure state was boosted on Tuesday (15 April) with the launch of the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Food Security at University of the Western Cape (UWC) in collaboration with the University of Pretoria (UP).
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Record number of post-graduate degrees for UPs Class of 2013 - 16/04/2014
The Autumn 2014 graduation figures for the University of Pretoria (UP) confirm that the institution which last year was ranked among the Top 500 universities globally by the prestigious QS World Ranking of Universities, is on track to deliver on its vision of being a leading research-intensive university. A record 4214 post-graduate degrees are being awarded across its nine faculties and business school.
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Prof Tiaan de Jager gives an African perspective on environmental issues in Geneva - 15/04/2014
Prof Tiaan de Jager, Deputy Dean: Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Director of the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control, is an expert on the effect of the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment in Africa. It was on account of this expertise that he was invited by the German Federal Government Environment Protection Agency and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to address them on the effect of pharmaceuticals on the environment in Africa.
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Study asks for ban on 4x4s in protected areas - 15/04/2014
Soil damage caused by 4x4 vehicles is underestimated, long term between 5 and 1000 years - and mostly irreversible. Due to their negative environmental impact, vehicles should not be allowed to do off-road driving in protected areas. Strict legal measures should be applied to regulate 4x4 use in such areas, while very sensitive areas such as wetland areas should be classified as absolute no-go areas.
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Tax specialist nominated for an Education Innovation Award - 15/04/2014
A senior lecturer in the Department of Taxation, Ms Theresa van Oordt, has been nominated for the Laureate Award for Education Innovation.
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