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Clarke Introduces Food Science Major

June 27, 2013: Clarke University will introduce a food science major for the fall of 2014.

Food science is an applied science in which chemical, biological and physical principles are applied to study the nature of food and its deterioration. The studies are utilized to evaluate and improve consumer foods and associated processes. Students will study principles from a variety of academic fields including chemistry, biology, microbiology, nutrition, engineering and psychology. These principles will be applied to improve the flavor, color, texture and nutritional value, among other factors, in food.
 
“On behalf of Clarke, we are excited to offer a unique food science program that has mostly been offered by large schools thus far,” said Sunil Malapati, associate professor of chemistry. “We designed the program tailored to Clarke’s strengths after extensive interaction with food industry professionals and business leaders in the tri-state area. Students will work in a newly designed Food R&D Lab that will complement the cutting edge labs in Clarke’s new science building.

“Personally speaking as a chef and a foodie, I am excited to introduce students to careers in food science they may not have considered before."

Mark Seckman, vice president of National Marketing for the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, said food science and its related industries is a fast-growing sector of the U.S. economy. That provides the potential for job creation.

“Consumer dynamics have caused the food processing industry to evolve,” Seckman said. “The demand for low-calorie foods, products with natural ingredients and the movement from branded offerings to supermarket private-label items have created significant growth opportunities within this business sector. According to the Food Processing Manufacturing Trends Survey, of the U.S. food processing companies surveyed, more than half of these businesses plan to expand, modernize or build new plants in the coming years.”

Food science is very different than culinary science. The bachelor’s in food science program at Clarke is designed to produce a work-ready food scientist. Rigorous coursework and laboratory work in the newly designed Food R & D Lab in combination with internship opportunities will prepare students for a career in the food science industry. The field of food science is vast with numerous employment opportunities in the tri-state area and beyond.  Some of the career opportunities in food science include flavor researcher, food production manager, food and drug inspector, quality assurance specialist, process researcher and food safety technologist.

The program is designed to give students maximum choice in the focus of their college coursework. Students with an entrepreneurial focus can incorporate business or marketing courses into their curriculum. Practical research and development-focused students will concentrate on a science-heavy curriculum with courses from chemistry, biology and/or psychology, depending on interest.
 
The creation of the food science major ties into one of the main objectives of Clarke’s strategic plan – to capitalize on the momentum in the sciences brought about by recent events, including the opening of the science building.

Clarke University is a Catholic, liberal arts and sciences university dedicated to preparing students who positively impact their workplace, family and community. Academic offerings include more than 40 undergraduate liberal arts and pre-professional programs, a robust adult degree program and six graduate degree programs. Founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clarke is located near the Mississippi River in the thriving city of Dubuque, Iowa. It is the only BVM university in the country.

For more information, contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318. 

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