How much blood is in black pudding? How does poultry get contaminated? Is spinach really as healthy as people say? Why does a cake turn brown when you bake it? Food chemists are experts when it comes to the chemical composition of food and food ingredients and how they change during production, storage or processing. They also check whether food is contaminated and of the right quality. In addition to food, they test drinking water, tobacco and cosmetics, animal feed and items which come in contact with humans or food (such as cutlery, packaging, washing and cleaning products or toys).
After fundamental training in biology, mathematics, physics and chemistry, the main part of the programme focuses on chemical analysis. You apply basic analysis methods and state-of-the-art bioanalytical processes in various laboratory courses. You learn how to determine natural ingredients but also how to identify unwanted residuals and contamination in food and drinking water. Apart from laboratory work, the effect of food on the human organism is also an important aspect. This means you will also study nutritional physiology and toxicology. Other areas such as microbiology, food technology, food law, statistics and chemical equations are also covered.
You obtain fundamental skills in the development of new methods to produce, process and preserve foods and learn about legal compliance,quality assurance or whether food is counterfeited, rotten or harmful.
Food chemists are needed where expertise in chemical analysis and food law is required. While food chemists usually work in public food control administration they are also in demand in the following areas:
- commercial food quality laboratories and research laboratories in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnological and food industry
- forensic analysis
- research and teaching at universities and state research institutions
- very good school knowledge in chemistry and an interest in mathematics, physics and biology
- an interest in analytical questions and experimental laboratory work
- the ability to work independently, as well as a good amount of determination and perseverance
- Modern laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment for chemical and biochemical analysis
- Intensive, personal support due to the small number of students in the degree programme
- International collaborations allowing for research stays abroad
- Very good previous knowledge in chemistry is advantageous. However, the content of the degree programme can differ considerably from the content of school chemistry. Food chemistry focuses on analysis and reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry.
- Food law is an integral part of the profession. You might find it dry and boring to study law.
- Please be aware that lectures and laboratory courses are held throughout the week (in the mornings and afternoons). Some practical modules take place during semester breaks. You are expected to invest a considerable amount of time preparing for examinations.
Degree type: State Examination
Type of study: State Examination
Standard duration of study: 9 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Admission: Numerus clausus
Size: (1-24 Students)
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no