Consider a Career in Food or Meat Science at the University of Kentucky

Food Science is a rapidly evolving discipline that applies basic science and engineering to study the quality, nutritional value, and safety of foods.

The Food Science program at the University of Kentucky is the only such program in the commonwealth that offers a B.S. degree in Food Science. In fact, UK is one of only 43 colleges and universities in the United States with a food science program approved and accredited by the Institute of Food Technologists, a professional organization of over 30,000 members.
Food scientists are professionals who:

  • Use science and technology to study everything that happens to food from the time it leaves the farm to the time it reaches your dinner plate.
  • Apply biological and physical sciences to learn about the nature of foods, their nutrient composition and values, and the principles underlying the processing, preservation, and improvement of human foods.
  • Play a leadership role in the conversion of raw agricultural and aquatic products into a wide variety of processed and preserved foods.
  • Create new and acceptable foods from various raw agricultural materials to meet the world’s rapid population growth.

If you enjoy the sciences and are looking for an exciting and challenging career on the cutting edge with excellent personal and financial rewards, then food science is for you.

Technology for the 21st Century

You may want to choose Food Science as a career if you’re interested in:

  • developing new food products, processing methods, or distribution techniques;
  • applying your expertise in areas such as microbiology, biochemistry, and engineering to understand the nature of food and its components;
  • understanding and improving the nutritive value of food products;
  • applying bioactive compounds in foods to human health;
  • maintaining high standards of safety and sanitation and managing the quality of an ever-increasing variety of food products; and
  • supervising raw material procurement or managing any aspect of a food processing operation.

The University of Kentucky also provides courses in Meat Science

Meat Science involves everything from growth and development to hot dogs. The University of Kentucky has a fully functional USDA inspected meat processing facility designed for teaching and research. UK students can participate in hands-on learning classes such as ASC 300 Meat Science or FSC 304 Animal Derived Foods or lecture classes like FSC 430 Sensory Evaluation of Foods, FSC 434G Food Chemistry, FSC 530 Food Microbiology or ASC 630 Advanced Meat Science. 

The UK Meats Laboratory’s Extension activities include the UK Meat Cutting School, the 4-H Country Ham Project, Master Cattlemen, the Food Systems Innovation Center, and the UK Butcher Shop. Researchers evaluate how animal diet affects meat quality, factors affecting meat color, sensory evaluation of meats, food microbiology, and the use of antioxidants in meats. 

Potential careers in Meat Science include USDA meat graders and food safety inspectors, buyers for meat packing companies, livestock pharmaceutical sales, or research and development. 

Professional Testimonials

I was prepared exceptionally well for my career in the food industry. My courses gave me hands-on experience with product development, and I acquired real-world experience and industry contacts through internships. The students and professors I got to know will help me in my career as well as be lifelong friends. —Nicole Woy

With the broad range of subjects for the required courses and all the great opportunities for internships, I'll be able to handle any job out there upon graduation. No matter what background you come from, there is a place for you in the UK College of Agriculture. There is nowhere else I'd rather be. —Jesica Huber

The College of Agriculture faculty are friendly, have a lot of knowledge about their fields, and are always willing to help. Their primary focus is preparing students for the work force. I've received hands-on experience in the food industry through the internship program that is part of my major. —Charles Snyder