About the School
The School of Food Science and Technology (SFST) at Southern Yangtze University (formerly Wuxi University of Light Industry), established in 1952 by the Food Science faculty from several famous universities, and located in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province of China, a city 130 kilometers northwest of Shanghai, is the oldest program of food science and technology and the leader of food science research and education in China. The school awarded the first Bachelor degree in 1957, started graduate education programs in the early 1960s, and launched a Doctoral program in 1984. Later on, the school pioneered nationally the first level doctoral programs in food science and food engineering in 2000, and the specialty of Food Science was certified as the national key research and educational program. Currently, the school owns 72 full-time faculty, 550 graduate students and 1200 undergraduate students. The school is now nationally recognized as one of the best food science programs in China, and internationally known for its academic excellence.
Food science is an interdisciplinary research area that applies the principles of biological science, chemical science, mathematics and engineering to the process of converting agricultural commodities into edible foods and beverages. SFST supports hundreds of projects in both fundamental and applied research areas. These projects cover a wide range of subjects from food quality, including flavor, texture, nutrition and shelf-life, to food safety and biotechnology application in food processing. Most of these research projects address critical issues of food science including food quality and biological and chemical safety. Improving the utilization of traditional Chinese herbs as functional ingredients and helping farmers improve living standards through making good use of local resources are also important research areas as are resource sustainability and harmony between the food industry and the environment. Most of the basic research funds come from the China National Natural Science Foundation, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Science and Technology while most of the applied research is supported by industry.
Prof. Hao ZHANG
Our faculty is well balanced with expertise in both the basic and applied aspects of food science research. The faculty members are among the best in their areas of specialization ranging from carbohydrate chemistry, food processing, rheology, food microbiology, functional foods, food safety, enzymology, flavor chemistry, baking science and cereal science Many of the faculty members have gained national and international recognition for contributions and accomplishments in their fields of research.
The total annual undergraduate enrollment is about 300, and more than 8,000 graduates have been awarded Bachelor degrees since the establishment. Undergraduates can choose either of two majors: food science and animal science, and receive both basic and specialty education, and the basic courses include organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry, physics, mathematics, algebra, statistics and other elective courses. The specialty courses include food chemistry, food microbiology, and food engineering.
Each year SFST enrolls over 200 graduate students (including some 20 international students) in eight different areas: food science, protein and lipid engineering, agricultural product processing, storage and quality control, food safety and nutrition, food trading and culture, carbohydrate chemistry and engineering, animal nutrition and feed science. There are more than 300 articles published in the core journals of food science each year. SFST not only provides well-quipped facilities for students but also encourages them to participate in seminars and international conferences to acquire up-to-date knowledge and share their findings with peers. To ensure high standards, all graduate students receive professional training in scientific research and teaching, which establishes a good foundation for their future career development.
As one of the largest employment sectors, the food industry employs nearly 10 million people in China. In an industry that constantly strives to meet consumer demands for better quality food products, the job market is wide open for trained students in the areas of food product development, production management, quality assurance, purchasing and distribution, and marketing. Government agencies also hire food science students for market inspection and management, food law execution, and department coordination.
International collaboration is an important strategy for SFST to enhance the quality of food science education and research. We have established long-term collaboration programs with many international research institutions and universities to support international research, academic exchange, and cross-culture training and curriculum development for our faculty. Since the establishment of these international collaboration programs, many world famous food scientists have been invited to give lectures, presentations and short courses in SFST at our university. Many young faculty members have participated in academic exchange programs as visiting scholars in countries including the Unite States, Canada, Britain, France, Japan and the Netherlands. We also co-organize International Conferences on Food Science and Technology as a way of improving the quality of collaboration.
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