The Department of Food Science & Technology is committed to knowledge, discovery and delivery of high-quality education to position the science of food within a sustainable framework, with emphasis on improving health and wellbeing.
Keeping this mission in mind the department aims to develop and strengthen four areas of excellence:
Global Food Safety and Quality
The Global Food Safety and Quality Area of Excellence focuses on the responsivity of the U.S. food industry to remain globally competitive, developing advanced technologies and systems to ensure that current and next generation food scientists meet this grand challenge. The Food Science & Technology Department is strategically positioned to excel in this area, building upon strengths including deep expertise in food microbiology, food chemistry, food processing technologies, and vibrant training programs.
The Global Food Safety and Quality Area of Excellence specializes in:
- The availability of high quality, safe and sustainable food supplies that are of strategic importance nationally and globally
- Development of advanced technologies and educational programs to ensure adequate high quality, safe, and sustainable food supplies
- Ensuring the United States food industry remains globally competitive and responsive by adopting advanced food processing technologies, globalized supply chains, and novel distribution networks, while being adept at mining big data in support of food defense and traceability
Functional Food Systems for Healthy Texas and Beyond
The Functional Food Systems for Healthy Texas and Beyond Area of Excellence develops food science innovations that sustainably leverage advanced and emerging scientific principles to create high quality, safe products. Through the creation of transformative knowledge and use of cutting-edge technologies including foodomics, the critical contributions of this area of excellence are to improve food quality while ensuring sustainable and secure foods for societal health and wellbeing.
The Functional Food Systems Area of Excellence focuses on:
- Facilitating discoveries that define fundamental and functional relationships between food composition and physical, chemical, and biological properties
- Creation of knowledge that leads to high quality and healthy food products that meet current and future consumer sensory, performance, and nutritional needs
- Innovations in analytical tools that precisely capture complex food quality attributes and their physiological effects
The Innovative Technologies Area of Excellence reflects food industry priorities including food supply chain resilience, cleaner technologies, and improved food quality and safety efficiencies. Innovative food technologies harness the power to meet the ever-growing demands for food in a world of billions of people. Responsive to changing needs, this area of excellence is at the leading edge of emergent technology development and application.
The Innovative Technologies Area of Excellence builds:
- Resilience of the food supply chain through artificial intelligence, machine learning, and sensors
- Cleaner technologies that are economically and environmentally advantageous (plant-based foods, nanotechnology)
- Emerging technologies to improve quality and safety of foods at a low cost while reducing carbon footprint, food waste and loss
Global Sensory and Consumer Science
The Global Sensory and Consumer Science Area of Excellence aims to uniquely leverage and meld the disciplines of sensory science, human behavior, and neuroscience to better understand and meet the needs of food consumers. To create this distinctive vision, this area of excellence will expand faculty expertise and extend existing teaching programs, including development of a new certificate program.
The Global Sensory and Consumer Science Area of Excellence is distinguished by:
- Development and establishment of a unique, premiere national and global program that combines sensory science, neuroscience, human behavior and marketing of foods
- Understanding consumer perception, behavior, and sensing of existing and new food concepts and products to improve consumer acceptance of product quality, nutritional value, and safety.