The general discipline of Food Science and Technology may be divided into two broad categories: Food Science and Food Technology defined according to Institute of Food Technology (USA) thus:
Food Science is the discipline in which the engineering, biological, and physical sciences are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of deterioration, the principles underlying food processing, and the improvement of foods for the consuming public.
Food Technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe, nutritious, and wholesome food.
The design of the curriculum in Food Science and Technology of the Technical University has blended the two definitions to take into consideration a connected series of scientific and engineering programmes required to produce a competent graduate fully baked for the challenges in all disciplines allied and subsumed in Food Science and Technology as a discipline.
This curriculum covers the materials considered to be a minimum for a Food Science and Technology program. These include course content materials divided into five categories: Food Processing and Engineering, Food Chemistry and Analysis, Food Nutrition, Food Microbiology and Applied Food Science (Biotechnology). The list of content material is based on the NUC minimum standards. The competencies in the enumerated five categories are covered within the required courses of the curriculum.
The primary objective is the professional development of admitted candidates to become exceptionally brilliant graduates of B.Eng. Food Science and Technology Programme. The specific objectives of the programme are to provide the course of instructions that will train the type of scientists and technologist capable of being effective entrepreneur, or work at the senior level in the food industry, food based research institutes and government or private establishments related to food.
The students that successfully undertake this curriculum will be able to demonstrate competencies in the following major sub-divisions of the Food Science and Technology
- Food Chemistry and Analysis
- Food Safety and Microbiology
- Food Processing and Engineering
- Applied Food Science (Food Biotechnology)
- Communication skills, critical thinking/problem solving skills
The following traits are expected to be found in all the graduates
- Be able to demonstrate the knowledge of the structure and chemistry underlying the properties and reactions of food components in any food material with the view to controlling reactions in foods for producing acceptable food product.
- Ability to use the laboratory techniques common to basic and applied food chemistry required in the analytical techniques in solving practical problems associated with food processing.
- Be in a position to identify beneficial microorganisms and important pathogens and other microorganisms in foods with the view to elucidating the conditions under which they will grow, inactivated, killed or made harmless in foods.
- Be capable of using the principles involving food preservation via fermentation processes, knowledge of the adaptation of medium environmental factors (i.e., temperature, relative humidity, and pH) on growth and response of microorganisms during storage and transportation of food commodities and products.
- Be able to identify the conditions, including sanitation practices, under which the important pathogens and spoilage microorganisms are commonly inactivated, killed or made harmless in foods.
- Understand the source and variability of raw food material and their impact on food processing operations.as well as the methods to control deterioration and spoilage.
- Be capable of using unit operations in food processing to demonstrate production of a given food product and the effects of processing parameters on product quality with the use of adequate packaging materials.
- Be in a position to carry out environmental impact assessment of various food (roots and tubers, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and cereals) processing units both at the cottage and industrial scales with sufficient knowledge of the basic principles and practices of cleaning and sanitation in food processing operations. Allied to this is the understanding of the requirements for water utilization and waste management in food and food processing.
- Be able to select materials for critical food science and technology problems with the view to identifying the causes and to provide possible solutions.
- All graduates must be able to communicate effectively both in oral and written communication skills in English and one other foreign language (French or Germany).
- Possess the computational skills.
- Apply critical thinking skills to new situations.