Ever thought about studying Food Science?Watch this thread
I'm Alice, and just graduated from a four year Food Science degree here at Reading.
I loved Science at school, taking Maths, Biology and Chemistry for A-levels with Food technology AS level but really wanted to find a degree that applied science to everyday life. Food science has given me a great way of using my sciences to learn more about one of life's great pleasures!
I've always loved food, and for me food science was a great mix of lab work (all related to food, nutrition, flavour etc), food manufacturing, business (in terms of selling/marketing of food), food chemistry and nutrition. It's so so interesting to learn weird and wonderful facts about everyday food!
We have multiple food science/nutrition courses here at Reading (https://www.reading.ac.uk/food/) and for anyone interested there are still courses available in clearing!
Please ask if you have any questions!
Food science grad
More about the University of Reading
A few questions:
How often did you have labs?
What kind of experiments did you do?
Is the food science course mostly biology?
Also do you know how nutrition differs from food science?
Ps. sorry for reviving a dead thread.
Sorry for taking a few days to get back to you, I spoke to Alice who originally created this thread and these were her answers:
1. How often did you have labs?
We had labs maybe 2-3 times per week, these varied from microbiology, food chemistry, biochemistry and nutrition. Lab sessions are generally timetabled to be 4 hour sessions but they don't always take that long. You tend to work in pairs or groups, and they get more specific to food science with each year of the degree e.g. we start of doing general microbiology e.g streaking plates and serial dilutions and then in 2nd year we do food microbiology where we will wring out the colony count in actual food samples. If you choose to do a lab based dissertation in your final year then you will be spending a lot of time in the labs, but by final year you are very prepared for this.
2. What kind of experiments did you do
It really varies depending on the module, for example in nutritional science we did experiments relating to working out the energy content of different food, working out the amount of fat in different types of oils/spreads/fats etc. For some practicals we are in the nutritional unit, learning how to do finger prick blood tests for blood glucose, blood pressure, and eating different foods and working out the GI content. Food chemistry was a lot more applied e.g using HPLC/spectroscopy to work out the amount of caffeine in coffee. You get a bit more independence in the labs in second year, we do an enzyme practical where you aren't given full instructions but are asked to determine optimum temperature, pH etc which is actually really fun when you get into it!
3. Is the food science course mostly biology
No, in first year you are doing modules in biology, chemistry, maths and physics (maths and physics are applied to food processing). There are also aspects of psychology (in terms of why consumers buy certain products) and business. As students come in with different science A-levels, in first year the aim is to make sure that everyone is at the same level in terms of scientific knowledge. If you did choose to study nutrition, then your degree course will be more biology focussed as you study modules with a focus on genetics, diseases, physiology and human biology. However, the food science/bioprocessing course have more food chemistry modules.
4. Do you know how nutrition differs from food science
I mainly mentioned that in the above question in terms of the labs etc. Nutrition is more focussed on how diet affects the body, the likelihood of developing diseases (e.g. diabetes and obesity), the impact different nutrients have on the body and how genetic factors can lead to an increased risk of diseases developing. Food science more looks at the interaction of ingredients e.g. during the baking process, to produce colours, flavour compounds and structures. Food Science also has modules in food safety and sensory science, so looking at why certain foods taste a certain way and how we can ensure that the food sea re producing is safe and of a high quality. If you wanted a mix of the two then there is the option of the food science and nutrition course which gives you the best of both worlds.
Hope that all makes sense!
I hope that Alice's answers helped. If you've got any other questions about Reading, please do let me know.
University of Reading