Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes and ageing are all influenced by the diet we consume. Functional foods are foods that make a specific health claim and these products can only be released for sale in the UK if there is sound scientific evidence to support the claim.
Opportunities exist within the food industry for students who are scientifically trained in both food science and nutrition. They are uniquely placed to understand raw ingredients, their nutritional content, and the effect of processing and storage on food quality (colour, flavour, texture) and nutritional value. They will also appreciate the physiological link between consumption, nutrient uptake and health benefit or risk.
You can take an optional placement in industry between years two and three of your degree programme - see our student blogs:
This course is accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).
Nottingham students can join the IFST as an Associate member. In Year two students can choose to enter an examination for IFST Certificate in Sensory Evaluation: Intermediate level. Graduates will be able to apply for membership of various other professional bodies and societies such as the Association for Nutrition; European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST); Royal Society of Chemistry; Society of Chemical Industry (SCI).
You will be given an extensive introduction to nutrition, and to the biochemistry that explains the connection between nutrition and health. You will also learn about the chemical and physical properties of food materials. Concepts explained in lectures come alive in practical classes and in food processing facility, where you will make a range of food products and dishes and explore the reasons for the dramatic changes that occur during processing and cooking. At the end of Year one you will visit a number of food manufacturing sites as part of a field trip; this is not only educational, but it helps to nurture good relationships with peers and staff.
You will study the relationship between nutrients, human metabolism and the development of certain dietary-related disease states such as coronary heart disease and obesity.
Building on year one, you will manufacture food products and develop your critical thinking skills, supported by small group tutorials and lectures. You will gain a detailed understanding of process engineering and of the role of certain hydrocolloids and macromolecules in tuning the physical properties of certain food products.
In small teams, you will actively work together to solve food product-related problems as presented in industry based scenarios. A module in sensory evaluation provides you with the skills and protocols to test consumer acceptance of new products. You will also find out about the global food supply chain, for example, where commodity crops are grown and how they are transported around the world.
You will span a range of nutrition-related topics from social policy for the improvement of population health, to the more molecular topic of nutrient gene interactions. You will also be supported in developing your own career plans and gaining the associate skills required to succeed in your chosen graduate pathway.
You will carry out a unique research project supervised by one of our academic staff. In addition to this, you will study the operation of food factories, and develop a new product in the food processing facility as part of a small group, then present your product (ready to eat or drink) to your peers and to representatives from industry; a prize is awarded to the best team.
Industry Placement year
This optional year in industry as a paid employee takes place between years two and three of your degree. It gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills in a real-world environment, which will significantly improve your employment prospects.
For example you could be working for a multinational food manufacturer like Unilever, Kraft or GSK or a leading retailer such as Sainsbury’s, M&S and Tesco. Read more
See our student blogs
Study Abroad options
Students can also apply to the University-wide exchange programme and spend a semester studying abroad at one of our world-leading partner universities in a variety of overseas locations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and China.