The major was established in fall 1999 in response to increasing demands from the fast-growing Southern California food industry for food scientists and technologists. It allows students to apply knowledge from basic disciplines such as chemistry, microbiology, physics and engineering to different areas of Food Science and Technology such as food chemistry, food processing, sensory evaluation, food analysis, product development, packaging, and food safety among others.
Competencies in these areas enable graduates to succeed in the food industry as well as in local and federal governmental agencies as they face challenges in food manufacturing, research and development, quality control, food regulations, and marketing.
The Food Science and Technology (FST) Bachelor of Science curriculum at Cal Poly Pomona is an interdisciplinary program that draws faculty and courses from Human Nutrition and Food Science, and other science, applied science, and business programs. Students have the option of choosing science and technology, business, culinology®, or preprofessional (for students interested in pre-vet, pre-med or pre-dental academics) tracks while moving through a curriculum designed to meet the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) undergraduate standards and guidelines. Students will be able to tailor the program to their general interests and career goals by choosing one of the following career tracks.
This track emphasizes learning scientific concepts with the application of technology. It provides the opportunity to expand beyond the background provided by the core courses of the major. This track is for students interested in pursuing a master’s and/or a doctoral program in a science or technology field in the future. In addition, this track provides additional background for research and development jobs in industry and the public sector and it will prepare one to become a food chemist, food microbiologist, or a food processing technologist. By carefully selecting electives, students may also earn a minor in chemistry, microbiology, or foods and nutrition.
This track applies food science and technology knowledge to marketing and entrepreneurship. With a science and technology foundation and an emphasis in business, students can successfully compete for food industry jobs in project management, technical sales, marketing and advertising. This track is designed for students interested in pursuing a Master of Business administration (MBA) program later on.
Culinology is a trademark of the Research Chefs Association (RCA). This track is one of few programs approved by RCA in the U.S. The curriculum blends food science and culinary arts and will provide tools to successfully develop new foods for retail and food service consumption. This track is particularly attractive to those interested in product development. Students will receive a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology under the Institute of Food Technologists’ guidelines while taking a number of courses in Culinary Arts.
The Pre-professional track prepares students for a degree in Food Science and Technology while preparing them to enter veterinary, medical, and other professional graduate programs. With a professional degree in veterinary sciences, an undergraduate degree in FST will prepare students to be successful in jobs related to inspection, safety, and processing of animal foods.