Students explore the science behind food quality and safety in new college course

February 11, 2015
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A new food science course (CHEM 220) is being offered at Salem College for the spring 2015 semester. This chemistry department course is giving students an in-depth look at the science and processes behind food quality and safety.

Food science is the study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food and the underlying food processes. The course uses a multidisciplinary approach to expose students to the physical and chemical composition of foods. Classroom discussions and projects will focus on the science behind food preparation and processing, food safety, food chemistry, and food technology applications.  

While the course is being offered as a chemistry course, it will also incorporate information from the other life and physical sciences, says Dr. Douglas Linebarrier, Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Linebarrier says that a lab component will be offered in the future, enabling the course to satisfy a student’s science requirements.

The course also addresses current concerns about the responsible management of food technology, including environmental, social, and economic consequences, as well as the increasing globalization of the food industry. Topics in food safety and consumer protection include pathogens, current techniques for product safety and quality, and a look at the pros and cons of food additives, pesticides, hormones, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The course meets twice a week for the full spring semester.