Food Science is a field of study and research that is a combination of multiple disciplines, namely, chemistry, biochemistry, nutrition, microbiology, and engineering to fully study the many aspects and facets of the food industry. Since Food Science as a discipline is still growing and evolving, numerous schools and universities have been established and have excelled above others. These are the top 7 institutions among the Best Food Science Schools in the World.

Best Food Science Schools in the World

1. South China University of Technology

The South China University of Technology (SCUT) was founded in 1952 and is one of the best food science schools in the world. The University is a public institution, governed by the Chinese Ministry of Education, with a research-intensive approach. As it was founded by consolidating scientific departments from various universities in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Hubei, and Jiangxi, SCUT consistently received national and international acclaims and awards.

The South China University’s School of Food Science and Engineering (SFSE) was, essentially, established in 1952 as the School of Light Industry and Food Science until its renaming due to the reorganization in 2015. SFSE has also consistently led the field in Food Science as it spearheaded the creation and management of various scientific research centers and institutions.

2. University of Massachusetts—Amherst

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst was initially named the Massachusetts Agricultural College (MAC) in 1963 when the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act was implemented in the United States of America. Its earliest curriculum consists of modern farming, science, technical courses, and the liberal arts. The era after World War II marks an immediate rise in the number of enrollees since it started its first classes with 56 students in 1867. The enrollees to the public university’s undergraduate courses rose to 10,500 by 1964. Various research-focused and student-centered programs implemented, and newly established institutions built within the University, allowed the further rise of the current University of Massachusetts-Amherst as it attracted more scientifically gifted enrollees.

The Department of Food Science in University of Massachusetts-Amherst is another top school for food science. It can be traced further back to 1913 when Dr. Walter Chenoweth was asked by Dr. Frank Waugh, Head of the Department of Horticulture, to create a paper on fruit preservation. Dr. Chenoweth’s study in this newly formed department became relevant as it helped resolve the food shortage problem during World War I. Aside from being the first in the United States of America, the Department of Food Science at UMass-Amherst also received multiple recognitions from the US and from all over the world.

3. Jiangnan University

Jiangnan University, initially named San Jiang Normal School, was founded in 1902 under the supervision of the Chinese Ministry of Education. The University was eventually combined by the Ministry with two other academic institutions and was renamed Jiangnan University by 2001.

The study of Food Science in JU was heavily influenced by the Department of Food Technology of the Nanjing Institute of Technology. The School of Food Science and Technology’s scientists and academic members allowed for the renowned status of the University in the field. In the pursuit of excellence, the School of Food Science and Technology now benefits from the full support of the government and partnerships with private institutions.

4. Zhejiang University

The Chinese Zhejiang University’s first name was Qiushi Academy when it was founded in 1897, then renamed National Chekiang University in 1928. The Zhejiang University as it is known today was established in 1998 when it was consolidated with Hangzhou University, Zhejiang Agricultural University, and Zhejiang Medical University. It is considered as one of the leading universities in the country, as it received various national awards and became recognized in international university rankings.

The College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science has maintained its high level of research and scholarship through merging with other universities and colleges leading in the food sciences field. This top food science college currently focuses on collaborative endeavors and partnerships with international universities to further improve its disciplines.

5. China Agricultural University

The College of Agriculture was founded in 1905 by the Qing Dynasty in the current day Peking University. The College of Agriculture in PU was later absorbed together with 2 other agricultural colleges, forming the Beijing Agricultural University (BAU) in 1949. The China Agricultural University as it is known today consists of the institution formed by the 1995 merger of BAU and the Beijing Agricultural Engineering University (BAEU).

Formerly the Department of Food Science, the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering includes the Department of Food Science and Engineering, Department of Food Biotechnology, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, Department of Viticulture and Enology. This excellent food science school also established 6 research centers focusing on the further development of their fields of study. The CFSNE was also successful in acquiring Chinese Government higher education certifications for its accomplishments in their disciplines.

6. Wageningen University and Research Center

The Wageningen University and Research, a joint effort between Wageningen University and the Wageningen Research Foundation, can trace its roots back to the late 18th century. During this time, agricultural campuses were started by the Government and the agricultural sector in the Netherlands to improve food production. By 1918, these mini campuses evolved into the Rijks Hoogere Landbouwschool (State Agricultural College), the WUR as it is known today. After World War II, it was tasked to transform the Netherlands into a self-sufficient country and was boosted by huge investments in research and education.

Part of its core areas of expertise includes food, feed, and biobased production which are continuously improved through consistent collaborations between the University and multiple specialized research centers. With the current setup, the institution’s breakthroughs can be swiftly applied scientifically and transitioned to materials for the education of the students. This method has consistently placed WUR in the top bracket of various international rankings.

7. Nanchang University

The Nanchang University (NCU) is another top food science school in the world. It was founded in 1993 when two older universities, Jiangxi Public Medical College (founded 1921) and National Chung-cheng University (founded 1940), were merged due to the national higher education system reform in China. NCU was also merged with Jiangxi Medical College in 2005, further improving its research, development, and academics. With the full support of the Chinese Government, the University continues to advance in its disciplines, particularly in Food Science.

The College of Food Science and Technology of NCU evolved from the 1993 merger of Jiangxi University of Technology’s Food Engineering Department and Jiangxi University’s Department of Food Science. The College consistently received high provincial and national evaluation marks and even managed to usher in the entry of the University in the top percentage of educational institutions cited in international rankings.


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About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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