Your Guide to a Food Science Course in Malaysia

CourseGuide- Food Science-Feature ImageHave you ever wondered how popular food brands such as Pringles, Campbell’s and Haagen-Dazs come up with such innovative yet delicious flavours? Ever wondered how your food was processed and packaged?

This is all made possible with the help of food science, where a team of scientists conduct extensive research and development to create unique flavours for food brands that result in delicious products for supermarket shelves. 

Interested to know more? Our comprehensive guide on food science will reveal all you need to know about the course in Malaysia and help you determine if it’s right for you.

#1. The Basics of Food Science

CourseGuide- Food Science-What is Nutritiona) What is Food Science

Food science is about applying science and engineering to develop new food products or improve existing ones.

Studying food science will teach you the different food processing methods used when creating new products, including how various foods should be harvested, prepared, preserved and packaged. You will also learn how to analyse food texture, flavours and nutritional composition as well as gain in-depth knowledge about food safety.

This knowledge is essential to food brands such as Kellogg’s, Nestle and Hershey’s as it helps with the creation of new flavours (durian-flavoured Hershey’s, anyone?) while assuring quality control during all stages of development. Even Malaysian brands like Gardenia and NutriVite Beverage look to hire people with a background in food science as they have the skills to ensure all products are well-made and adhere to food safety guidelines.

#2. Studying a Food Science Degree

a) Entry Requirements & Qualifications

To pursue a course in food science, you are required to meet the entry requirements set by colleges or universities.

(i) Diploma in Food Science

These are the general entry requirements for a Diploma in Food Science:

  • SPM / O-Level: Minimum 3 credits, including a C in Mathematics and Chemistry. You will also need to pass English.

A Diploma in Food Science typically takes about 2 years to complete.

Upon completion, you can choose to join the working world, or further your studies to a Degree in Food Science (entering from the second year onwards).

(ii) Degree in Food Science

To pursue a Degree in Food Science, you need to complete your SPM or equivalent qualification anda pre-university programme.

The requirements needed to pursue a Food Science Degree are:

  • A-Level: Minimum 2Es in 2 science subjects including Chemistry; or
  • STPM: Minimum 2Cs in 2 science subjects including Chemistry; or
  • Australian Matriculation: Minimum ATAR of 70 and at least a B in 2 science subjects, including Chemistry; or
  • Foundation in Science: Minimum CGPA of 2.00, including Chemistry and 1 science subject; or
  • Diploma: Minimum CGPA of 2.00, including Chemistry and 1 science subject

In addition to that, you will also need a minimum of 5 credits in SPM, with Cs in 3 of the following subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, English.

Important Note: Entry requirements for some universities may differ, so it’s important that you scrutinise the details carefully.

A Degree in Food Science is usually 3 years long.

Upon completing your degree, you will be equipped with an in-depth understanding of the nature of raw food materials and their transformation into consumable products. You will also develop a range of skills, which can help you excel in product development or managerial positions in food-related industries.

b) How Does Your Education Pathway Look Like?

CourseGuide- Food Science-Education PathwayUpon the completion of your SPM or equivalent qualification, you can opt to enrol into a pre-university (STPM, A-Level, etc.) or Foundation in Science programme. Alternatively, you can also choose to pursue a Diploma in Food Science.

Completing a pre-university or foundation programme will enable you to proceed to a Food Science Degree.

c) What Will You Study in Food Science?

Food science degrees are designed to provide you with a wide range of knowledge and skills related to the food manufacturing industry.

Typically, you will be exposed to the basics of biochemistry, microbiology and nutrition, as well as have the opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience using cutting-edge technology and laboratory equipment to develop new food products and design new processes to improve the safety and quality of food.

Some examples of subjects commonly taught in a Food Science Degree are:

  • Food Chemistry
  • Human Nutrition
  • Microbiology
  • Food Biochemistry
  • Food Product Development and Innovation
  • Food Processing, Preservation and Packaging
  • Food Safety and Quality Management

At some universities, you may be required to undergo compulsory industrial training or internships as part of the university’s degree programme. This is for you to obtain practical work experience, which can help you better understand and apply what you have learnt in university.

#3. Why Should You Study Food Science?

CourseGuide- Food Science-Why Food ScienceStill unsure if food science is for you? Here are some reasons why you should consider taking up the course.

(a) You enjoy science

You’re a scientist at heart and enjoy figuring out how things work. In particular, you’re captivated by the science of food production and preparation — be it baking, boiling, frying or freezing. Whether it’s creating exciting new food products or testing food for quality and safety, this field can be fascinating for those who have a love for the science of food.

(b) You want to part of the solution to end world hunger

Do people dying of starvation and malnutrition children upset you? If you want to create change to improve their lives, food science can be a solution. Some ways food science can help include extending the shelf life of food products and developing new forms of protein at a low cost (think chocolate-covered crickets, mealworm brownies and bug fried rice).

(c) You want to make processed food healthy and safe for consumption

Many people are highlighting the dangers of processed food to the health, especially with an increasing amount of reports of tainted food being sold. With so many foods being processed to the point of losing its nutritional value, food science can be a way to provide consumers with safe and healthy foods that will benefit them.

(d) You’ve always dreamed of creating your own food products

If you’ve always wanted to create your own brand of ice cream, sauces or snacks, then studying food science will be the perfect way for you to learn the foundation of food development and manufacturing, preservation and packaging, while maintaining its nutritional value.

#4. What Skills Do You Need for a Food Science Course?

CourseGuide- Food Science-Key SkillsHere are some of the key skills and qualities you need to develop when studying and pursuing a career in food science.

(a) Attention to detail

As part of your job, you will need to ensure the quality and safety of food products, and deal with hundreds of components, compounds and ingredients every day. Health, safety and hygiene is of utmost importance. A slight mistake can lead to major losses for the company, so you’ll need to have an eye for spotting irregularities during food manufacturing and production.

(b) Analytical skills

Food scientists need to be analytical in order to analyse the nutritional content in different foods, decide on which flavours would be more appealing to consumers and advise on the best food preservation techniques.

(c) Good communication and teamwork skills

Food scientists often work in teams to improve and research new ways to create, preserve and package various food products. Being able to work well with others to produce results for a common goal, as well as communicate effectively to convey your findings and research, is crucial to a successful career.

Don’t worry if you have yet to master any of these skills. You will gain these skills eventually while pursuing your diploma or Degree in Food Science.

#5. What Career Options Do You Have With a Food Science Degree?

Food science graduates can seek employment opportunities from companies such as food manufacturers, retail companies and specialist research/scientific sectors.

Here are some careers that you can seek upon graduating:

  • Food scientist
  • Food technologist
  • Food product/process development specialist
  • Food safety inspector
  • Flavour chemist
  • Quality assurance associate
  • Raw materials procurement executive

You can also pursue other relevant qualifications to seek for more advanced career options.

#6. Where Can You Study Food Science in Malaysia?

If food science suits you, then check out some of the best universities to study food science in Malaysia.

monash

Monash University Malaysia

Bachelor of Food Science and Technology

Quick Facts

Campus: Bandar Sunway
Intakes: Feb, Jul & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM127,000
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Accredited by the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST)
Recognised as a “Tier 6: Outstanding” university by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MQA SETARA 2017)
8-week industrial placement to ensure that you’re work-ready upon graduating

Taylor’s University

Bachelor of Science (Hons) (Food Science)

Quick Facts

Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Mar & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM90,966
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Insights from industry experts to ensure an industry-relevant curriculum, as well as partnerships for internship placements with Nestle, Dutch Lady and F&N
Taylor’s Curriculum Framework allows you to take on a minor in areas such as nutrition, biotechnology and culinary arts to complement your Food Science Degree
Internationally recognised by top universities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand

ucsi

UCSI University

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Food Science with Nutrition

Quick Facts

Campus: Kuala Lumpur
Intakes: Jan, May & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM85,430
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Its modules provide you with hands-on experience through extensive exposure to lab equipment and by offering 3 industry placements throughout the degree
Offers twinning programme for those keen to study abroad in Australia and the UK
Rated Tier 5 (Excellent) by the Ministry of Higher Education’s SETARA 2017 rankings

 

utar

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Food Science

Quick Facts

Campus: Kampar, Perak
Intakes: Jan, May & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM42,510
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Top #100 in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2018, placing 2nd in Malaysia
Incorporates hands-on laboratory activities with exposure to manufacturing practice, current food processing technologies and industrial best practices
Affordable fee structure

Looking for more institutions? Compare food science courses at various colleges and institutions here.

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