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Food technology

Course Description

To fulfil its nutritional destiny, food must be both safely produced and safely delivered to its end consumer. This requires, on the one hand, processing technologies for converting edible raw materials into foods with decreased inherent stability, and, on the other, preservation technologies for increasing the stability and shelf life of foods. Based on these considerations, the Interuniversity Programme in Food Technology (IUPFOOD) focuses on two technological dimensions of prime and crucial importance in food processing and preservation:

- the transformation (processing) of raw materials into products suited for human consumption, and

- the role of postharvest and food preservation unit operations in delivering safe and nutritious foods to the end consumer.

These two concerns are directly translated in the focus points of the IUPFOOD programme.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The graduate

1. Has profound and detailed scientific knowledge and understanding of the (bio)chemical processes in biological raw materials during postharvest storage and their transformation into food products.

2. Has profound and detailed scientific knowledge and understanding of engineering principles of unit operations and their use in the transformation of raw materials into food products as a basis for qualitative and quantitative design, evaluation and optimization of food process and preservation unit operations.

3. Has profound and detailed scientific knowledge and understanding of ecology, physiology, detection, use and combat microorganisms in food systems.

4. Has profound and detailed scientific knowledge and understanding of (bio)-chemical, physical and microbiological methods for analysis of raw materials and foods including the skills to identify and use such methods in the context of research, process and product design and optimization and food control.

5. Has profound and detailed scientific knowledge in different fields of product technology such as vegetable products, dairy products, meat products, fish products, cereal derived products and fermented products including aspects of product development in relation to consumer behavior.

6. Can critically evaluate the functionality and safety of foods in the context of human health including the relation with raw materials and their processing into foods based on analytical data and scientific literature data.

7. Masters the skills and has acquired the problem solving capacity to analyze problems of food quality and safety along the food chain and to elaborate interdisciplinary and integrated qualitative and quantitative approaches and solutions (including implementation) appreciating the complexity of food systems and the processes used while taking into account technical limitations and socio-economic aspects such as feasibility, risks, and sustainability.

8. Has acquired a broad perspective to problems of food security, related to postharvest and food processing, in low income developing countries.

9. Can investigate and understand interaction with other relevant science domains and integrate them within the context of more advanced ideas and practical applications and problem solving.

10. Can demonstrate critical consideration of and reflection on known and new theories, models or interpretation within the broad field of food technology.

11. Can identify and apply appropriate research methods and techniques to design, plan and execute targeted experiments or simulations independently and critically evaluate and interpret the collected data.

12. Can develop and execute independently original scientific research and/or apply innovative ideas within research environments to create new and/or improved insights and/or solutions for complex (multi)disciplinary research questions respecting the results of other researchers.

13. Can convincingly and professionally communicate personal research, thoughts, ideas, and opinions of proposals, both written and oral, to different actors and stakeholders from peers to a general public.

14. Has acquired project management skills to act independently and in a multidisciplinary team as team member or team leader in international and intercultural settings.

[[Career paths]]

IUPFOOD's objective is to offer a programme that takes the specific needs and approaches of developing countries into account. The IUPFOOD programme prepares graduates for various tasks, including teaching and research. IUPFOOD alumni are mainly active in the following sectors:

- academic institutions (as teaching and/or research staff)
- research institutes (as research staff)
- nongovernmental organisations (in different capacities)
- governmental institutes (e.g. in research programmes, quality surveillance programmes or national nutritional programmes)
- private industry (in particular jobs related to quality control).

A number of IUPFOOD alumni complete further PhD studies in an early phase of their career.

Entry Requirements

Direct access: Bachelor in de bio-ingenieurswetenschappen. After a preparatory programme (based upon evaluation of a complete application file): Bachelor (of Biochemistry and Biotechnology; Bachelor of Chemistry; Bachelor of Biology; Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences; Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences; Bachelor of Engineering, Major Subject Chemical Technology; Bachelor of Chemical Engineering; Bachelor of Food Science and Technology; Bachelor of Industrial Engineering: Chemistry / Environmental Sciences. More information: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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Recipient: KU Leuven
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