Auburn Family

The Science of Food: Interview with a Food Science Major

Sarah Miller (Image courtesy of Facebook)

Sarah Miller, 20, is a junior majoring in Food Science at Auburn University. When I first met Sarah, we were working together in Auburn and I asked her about the Food Science major. Curious to learn more, I asked her some questions about the major.

How does majoring in food science differ from majoring in nutrition?

“Nutrition is part of the food science curriculum, but the easiest way to explain the difference is that nutrition is how food and the body interact and food science is how food interacts with other food. Food Science also encompasses food properties, food quality, and food safety.”

Regarding food science, what do you see in the future of food?

“When I decided to major in food science I was gluten free, one of the reasons I wanted to major in food science was to be able to learn how to make foods that were gluten or allergen free without compromising taste and texture. So, what I see in the future of foods is products that are geared toward people who do have specific food allergies. Also, something that I am very interested in is the application of 3-D printing to food products. 3-D printing has been used on small scales in confectioneries with sugar solutions, but to see the technology used in a wider scope is really intriguing.”

What subjects are you studying this semester?

“This semester I am studying Food Engineering Technology, Food Plant Sanitation, and Biochemistry. For food science I’ve had to take a wide variety of science classes but am now focusing more on the food specific courses.”

What's your favorite thing about the food science major?

“My favorite thing about food science would definitely be fact that we get to play with food in our classes. One of the things we say all the time is that you get paid to play with your food! That’s what food science is preparing you for.”

When did you know you wanted to major in food science?

“Well, I have always known that I wanted to work in the food industry because I have always loved to cook. Majoring in food science gives me the knowledge and skills to be able to do something that I enjoy for a job!”

What do you plan to do with your major when you graduate? Do you want to get your masters? Doctorate?

“When I graduate I plan on starting to work right away. Getting my masters would be awesome, but the program here at Auburn prepares you so well that you can start working when you graduate. I am definitely looking to find a job in research and development where I can help make and improve foods!”

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