Food Science Essentials

Accelerated Introductory Food Science and Technology Certificate Program for Food Industry Professionals

This online, on-demand course provides an overview of food components and nutrition, food manufacturing, and food safety. Participants will be introduced to the major components of foods, such as fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, and their nutritional properties. Important aspects of food manufacturing, such as processing, preservation, and packaging, will also be covered. Finally, participants will receive instruction in food regulations, foodborne illness, and food safety systems.

Topics Covered

  • Food Components
    • Water
    • Carbohydrates
    • Starches
    • Pectins and Gums
    • Grains
    • Vegetables and Fruits
    • Proteins
    • Meat, Poultry, Fish and Dry Beans
    • Eggs and Egg Products
    • Milk and Milk Products
    • Fat and Oil Products
    • Food Emulsions and Foams
    • Sugars, Sweeteners and Confections
    • Baked Products
  • Food Manufacturing
    • Food Preservation
    • Food Fermentation
    • Food Additives
    • Food Packaging
  • Food Safety
    • Foodborne Illness and Food Safety Systems
    • Food Regulations and Labeling

This course consists of online modules comprised of PowerPoint presentations, videos, and supplementary readings. In each module, participants will view a sequence of lectures and complete multiple choice quizzes, to assess and reinforce learning and to aid in course progression.  A variety of written assessments will also be utilized throughout the course, and participants will be required to complete a term paper or presentation, centered on a topic relevant to their work in the food industry. Additionally, a final written examination will be assigned, to determine the participant’s mastery of the material and ability to use their newly acquired food science knowledge in “real world” applications.

Who Should Attend?
The purpose of this course is to provide food industry professionals, who have not received a formal education in the field, with knowledge of the essential elements of food science and technology. Food Science Essentials has been designed for professionals working in any department (Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, Research and Development, Logistics, Human Resources, Marketing, Sales, Maintenance, Sanitation, etc.), and successful completion will provide each participant with a firm foundation of food science knowledge to be immediately applied in their current position. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Continuing Education Units
Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a Certificate of Program Completion that presents four (4) Ohio State Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which is equivalent to 40 hours of continuing education.


Dr. Valente B. Alvarez is the Director of the Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center and a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. As director of the Center, Dr. Alvarez is responsible for the operation and management of the food research and development programs, training courses for industry personnel, and food and dairy processing pilot plants. Dr. Alvarez is the Lead Instructor of FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food, and other certified courses as required by FDA and USDA such as the Better Process Control School and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. Professor Alvarez has a B.S. in Biochemical Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science from Michigan State University. He is member of the Institute of Food Technology, Intl Association of Food Protection, American Dairy Science Association, Ohio Association of Food Protection, and American Dairy Association Mideast.

Steven T. Simmons is Program Specialist for applied research and industry training with the Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center. As Program Specialist with the Center, Steven is responsible for administration of applied research projects and development and delivery of training courses for industry personnel. He is an instructor for courses such as FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, and Better Process Control School. Steven received his B.S. in Food Business Management and M.S. in Food Science and Technology from The Ohio State University. He holds a variety of certificates in the fields of food safety and food processing technologies, and maintains the Certified in Comprehensive Food Safety credential with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). Steven has Food Quality and Food Safety Management experience in the fresh and fresh cut produce sector, as well as experience managing the Food Processing Pilot Plant at the Wilbur A. Gould Food Industries Center.

Course Fee
The fee for this online program is $450 per person. There is a 10% discount available for companies registering two or more participants at the same time. Prepayment is required.


Following registration, please allow up to two business days for user activation. Participants will have access to the course for a period of 90 days, and all required assignments must be completed within this time-frame. Course deadlines have been eliminated for all students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Take as much time as you need to complete the course and take care of yourself.

Recommended Course Text
Textbook: Vaclavik, Vickie and Christian, Elizabeth W. Essentials of Food Science 4th ed. New York: Springer, 2014 (Link to publisher’s website)

Cancellation Policy
There is a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations will not be accepted after the participant has started the course.