About the Department

The Department of Food Science at Penn State is one of the premier food science departments in the country.

The Department of Food Science is Penn State’s home for the emerging technologies and best practices required for producing, safe, delicious, nutritious food. Our small-school atmosphere facilitates a warm, welcoming, intellectually stimulating, and professional environment.

Our work is closely aligned with the demands of industry and the needs of the community. We boast state-of-the-art facilities and world-class faculty with years of working experience in their fields.

Student success drives the department. Our undergraduate Food Science major offers students hands-on science with real-world applications, strong internship experiences, wide-ranging  scholarship opportunities, and excellent job placement.

Our graduate program offers master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees. Graduate students receive in-depth training in the core disciplines of food chemistry, food microbiology, food engineering and processing, and sensory evaluation.

Research is facilitated through core disciplines as well as following collaborative multidisciplinary signature areas: Microbial Food Safety, Food Choice, Food-Based Solutions for Enhanced Health, and the Material Nature of Foods, as well as underlying cross-cutting research themes of Food Quality and Food Fermentation. Students can participate in meaningful research from the first semester of their first year.

Meet our faculty, staff, and students, and see why we are one of the premier food science departments in the country.

Latest News

October 29, 2020

Penn State mourns loss of food science pioneer Philip Keeney

The Penn State community is mourning the loss of Philip Keeney, professor emeritus of food science, who died Oct. 17 at the age of 95. Intimately linked with the Department of Food Science since he helped to establish it in 1975, Keeney perhaps was best known for his research and teaching related to ice cream

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October 8, 2020

Penn State sensory scientists encourage smell checks to fight COVID-19 spread

With mounting scientific evidence that anosmia, or loss of smell, is one of the most specific symptoms of COVID-19 infection, sensory scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have launched a webpage to encourage people to perform a daily smell test in an effort to nip disease spread in the bud.

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September 9, 2020

Penn State Extension food safety training given in Ukraine has a lasting benefit

Food safety training, developed by Penn State Extension and delivered to food industry professionals and university students and faculty members in Ukraine, resulted in a significant and lasting improvement in participants’ food safety knowledge, behavior, attitude and skills, according to researchers.

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July 8, 2020

Sensation seekers, risk-takers who experience more bitterness apt to drink IPAs

People who seek novel and powerful sensations and are more prone to taking risks — and who perceive bitter tastes more intensely — are more likely to prefer bitter, pale-ale-style beers and drink them more often, according to Penn State sensory researchers, who conducted a study that involved blind taste tests and personality assessments.

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