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.
Getting books to our learners by adopting African solutions - 23/04/2014
The biggest challenge facing South African readers is access to books. For everyday South Africans, loading digital texts onto smartphones or tablets isn't a viable solution. You might have heard the saying that we should use African solutions to solve African problems. In this piece, I write about three organisations — Paperight, Siyavula and Worldreader — that offer practical and context-relevant ways of getting books into the hands of South African learners.
UP Architecture graduate wins prestigious national award - 22/04/2014
Heidi van Eeden, a University of Pretoria alumna, was announced as the overall winner of the 27th National Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year award. This is the seventh time that a U.P. student has won this prestigious award. Previous winners were Braam de Villiers (1994), Christiaan van Niekerk (2002), Gerald Schulz (2004), Cillié Malan (2005), Marinda Smalberger (2007) and Clifford Gouws (2012).
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.