Top Food Science Courses & Certifications [2023]

Matt Suggs

In the rapidly growing consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, food science is a critical component for ensuring food products are safe and meet industry regulations. From food entrepreneurs to co-packer teams, food professionals can benefit from expanding their knowledge in food science through various food science courses and certifications. 

Plus, the food science industry expects to have an 8% increase in job growth between now and 2031. So with a faster than average growth trajectory, the need for food science professionals is on the rise. 

This article will review some important food science courses and certifications for food and beverage professionals to consider. 

What Does Food Science Include?

“Food science” is a multidisciplinary domain that includes a wide range of subjects. Expertise in each can help ensure the development, manufacture, and launch of safe, innovative, and high-quality products that adhere to relevant regulations in the consumer packaged goods industry. 

Some key areas include: 

  • Microbiology: This branch focuses on understanding the role and behavior of microorganisms in food products. It’s important for maintaining food safety, quality, and shelf life. Knowledge of food microbiology helps you detect and control harmful pathogens while promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms, such as in fermented products.
  • Quality assurance: Quality assurance involves the implementation of systems, policies, and procedures that guarantee product consistency and safety, enabling you to build and maintain a strong brand reputation.
  • Data analysis: Analyzing data from market trends, consumer preferences, production processes, and quality control tests can help you enhance your products, streamline your operations, and identify potential areas for improvement or growth.
  • Agricultural practices: Understanding various agricultural practices and their impacts on food quality, safety, and sustainability allows you to source raw materials more efficiently and ethically.
  • Nutrition: As consumer interest in health and wellness continues to grow, understanding the nutritional aspects of your products is more important than ever. Knowledge of nutritional sciences enables you to develop food items that cater to various dietary preferences, health requirements, and consumer demands.
  • Food engineering: This field combines engineering principles, food science, and technology to design and improve food production processes, equipment, and systems. A deeper understanding of food engineering can help you develop innovative, sustainable, and cost-effective food processing methods.
  • Sensory analysis: Sensory analysis enables you to evaluate the taste, texture, aroma, and appearance of your food products. Gaining insight into consumer preferences and perceptions–as well as identifying areas for improvement–can be integral to your product development and marketing strategies.

Ready to Scale Your Food Product?

Food Science Courses & Certifications to Know

To meet the needs of food professionals seeking to improve their skills, several reputable institutions offer specialized food science courses and certifications.

Certified Food Scientist from the Institute of Food Technologists

IFT logo

This prestigious certification demonstrates your mastery of applied scientific knowledge and practical experience in food science. Its comprehensive curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including food safety, quality assurance, product development, and food processing. Earning the Certified Food Scientist credential sets you apart as a competent professional, making you more valuable to your organization and aiding in your business growth.

Other Food Science Courses offered by IFT:

  • Food Science for the Non-food Scientist
  • Labeling Requirements and Implications for Foods Marketed in the U.S.
  • A Simplified Approach to Shelf-Life
  • Unfolding the Next Frontiers of Alternative Proteins
  • Fundamentals of Sensory Science
  • Introduction to Dairy Science

HACCP from Cornell University

Cornell University logo

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points certification (HACCP) is an essential component of an effective food safety management system. Cornell University’s HACCP course provides a profound understanding of the seven HACCP principles, helping you develop and implement an efficient HACCP plan. Gaining this qualification ensures you are well-equipped to maintain food safety, reduce potential risks and enhance overall product quality in your business.

Other Food Science Courses offered by Cornell University:

  • Agricultural Supervisory Leadership Program
  • Artisan Dairy Food Safety Plan Coaching
  • Calf and Heifer Management
  • Certified Milk Inspectors School
  • Cheese Grading
  • Cured Meats Processing
  • Dairy Lab Seminar
  • Dairy Science and Sanitation
  • Farmer Online Courses
  • Fluid Milk Processing for Quality and Safety
  • Food Microbiology Lab Practices
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Programs
  • Good Manufacturing Practices for Food
  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Training
  • High Temperature Short Time Pasteurizer
  • Implementing SQF Systems
  • Introduction to Artisan Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts
  • Membrane Filtration, Evaporation, and Drying Technology

Food Safety Certificate from Penn State

Penn State College logo

The Food Safety Certificate offered by Penn State focuses on vital aspects of food safety management and regulation. The program covers topics such as pasteurization, foodborne pathogens, and preventative measures to protect consumers from food hazards. By obtaining this certificate, you demonstrate your commitment to assuring the safety of food products and increasing consumer confidence in your brand.

Other Food Science Courses offered by Penn State: 

  • Food Processing and Technology Certificate
  • HACCP and Preventive Controls Courses
  • Better Process Control School 
  • Control of Listeria Monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods 
  • Dairy Basics: Fundamentals of Quality and Safety 
  • Food Mycology Short Course (formerly Food and Airborne Fungi & Mycotoxin Short Course) 
  • Food Defense Workshop 
  • Food Microbiology Short Course 
  • Food Packaging Short Course 
  • Food Safety & Sanitation for Food Manufacturers 
  • Food Safety & Sanitation for Food Manufacturers 
  • Fundamentals of Food Science 
  • Ice Cream Short Course 
  • Ice Cream 101 “Introduction to Frozen Desserts” 
  • Pasteurization Short Course 
  • Penn State Cultured Dairy Products Short Course
  • Penn State-Ingredion Plant-Based Yogurt Short Course
  • The Science and Art of Cheese Making Short Course
  • Penn State Chocolate Short Course 
  • Principles of Sensory Evaluation Course
  • Descriptive Analysis Short Course 

Food Science and Technology Certificate Program from UC Davis

UC Davis logo

This comprehensive program is designed to help you develop a strong foundation in food science and technology. You will learn various aspects such as food engineering, nutrition, and product development, equipping you with the skills to create innovative and safe food products. This certification can be invaluable in expanding your business, as you will be better informed to make strategic decisions in product development, manufacturing, and marketing.

Other Food Science Courses offered by UC Davis: 

  • Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program
  • Winemaking Certificate Program
  • Master Brewers Certificate Program

Food Science Essentials from Ohio State University

Ohio State University

Acquiring the Food Science Essentials certification from Ohio State University provides you with a solid foundation in food science fundamentals. This program covers essential topics such as food chemistry, sensory evaluation, and consumer preferences. Gaining this expertise will enable you to make informed decisions about food product development, consumer trends, and product quality, positioning you for success as you expand your food business.

Other Food Science Courses offered by Ohio State: 

  • FSPCA – Preventive Controls for Human Food Training
  • Food Safety and GMPS 
  • Dairy Training and Certificate Program

Juice HACCP from eHACCP

HACCP and eHACCP logo

The Juice HACCP course is tailored specifically for professionals in the juice industry, teaching you critical safety and quality control measures to maintain regulatory compliance. By obtaining this specialized certification, you demonstrate your dedication to the highest safety standards in juice manufacturing while gaining the knowledge needed to address the unique challenges of this sector, ensuring the growth and success of your juice business.

Other Food Science Courses offered by eHACCP: 

  • Seafood HACCP
  • Meat and Poultry HACCP
  • Dairy HACCP
  • Fresh produce HACCP
  • Storage and distribution HACCP

Preventive Controls for Human Food Course From FSPCA

FSPCA logo

FSCPA’s Preventive Controls for Human Food Course prepares you to design, implement, and maintain effective preventive controls in your food business operations. As a qualified Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), you will be responsible for ensuring product safety, minimizing hazards, and meeting regulatory requirements, thus enhancing your business reputation and consumer trust.

Other Food Science Courses offered by FSPCA: 

  • Preliminary Steps and Food Safety Plan
  • Food Safety Hazards 
  • Process and Allergen PCs
  • Sanitation and Supply Chain 
  • Monitoring Corrections, Corrective Actions
  • Validation, Verification, and Resources
  • Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP)
  • Training and Recordkeeping
  • Recall Program
  • Sanitary Transport
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Program

SQF Practitioner–Risk Management Courses from SQFI

SQF logo

The SQF (Safe Quality Food) Practitioner–Risk Management courses provide you with in-depth knowledge of food safety and quality management systems. By obtaining this certification, you will be able to identify and mitigate potential risks, ensuring your supply chain adheres to SQF standards. This expertise demonstrates your commitment to upholding stringent safety and quality requirements, making your business more attractive to customers and partners alike.

Other Food Science Courses offered by the SQFI:

  • Implementing SQF Systems
  • SQF Quality Systems
  • SQF Risk Assessment
  • SQF Food Safety Culture

Choose the Best Food Science Courses For Your Career

Selecting the best food science courses for yourself and your business depends on your specific goals, career aspirations, and organizational needs. By staying informed and up-to-date in the field of food science, you are well-equipped to navigate the competitive landscape of the CPG industry. If you’re a food brand looking for support beyond food certifications, let PartnerSlate help.

PartnerSlate is a matching marketplace that connects food and beverage companies with the right manufacturing and packaging partners to streamline product development and launch. You start by creating a profile and listing your project and then we connect you with manufacturer options. The platform streamlines all document sharing, communication, and onboarding–so you can get your product from idea to shelves that much faster.