Related degree programmes in Wageningen
Wageningen University & Research offers two degree programmes related to Food Technology, specifically Nutrition & Health and Biotechnology.
Nutrition and Health [Dutch]
Food Technology focuses specifically on the product, the foodstuff, while Nutrition and Health focuses on human beings. This means that there is very little overlap between the courses of the degree programmes. However, students of Food Technology do gain a basic knowledge of Nutrition and Health and vice versa.
At the Master’s level, both degree programmes collaborate in the Sensory Science specialisation, which examines the perception of scent, colour, and flavour from the perspective of both the product and the person. Both degree programmes also offer the Food Digestion specialisation at the Master’s level, in which you will use your knowledge of food digestion to create products with desirable properties and functions.
It is not possible to move directly from the Bachelor’s in Food Technology to the Master’s in Nutrition and Health, or vice versa, without a taking a specialised minor in the 3rd year.
There is more overlap with the Biotechnology degree programme, because it also focuses more on the products. However, in Biotechnology there are other possible applications (such as medicine), while Food Technology always focuses on the production of foodstuffs.
The overlap primarily concerns the basic courses, but there is also some overlap in the fields of microbiology, physics, and chemistry. It is also possible to move directly to a "different" Master’s programme from both Bachelor’s programmes without taking a special minor. Both Master’s programmes offer a specialisation in Food Biotechnology too, which consists largely of the same courses.
Related HBO programmes
The programme is so specialised that there are no comparable degree programmes at other Dutch universities. However, there are a few programmes abroad.
You can also study Food Technology at the HBO level. This programme is offered at three universities of applied sciences:
- Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences
- HAS University of Applied Sciences
- InHolland University of Applied Sciences
The HBO programmes above primarily focus on the production process. The Bachelor’s in Food Technology focuses more on disciplines such as the chemistry, bioprocess engineering, physics, and microbiology of food. You will delve into questions such as "What makes bread, meat, or apples turn brown?” You will work with products, but more so in the fields of development and research.
After completing an HBO programme such as those mentioned above and with the condition that you receive an average grade of 7 or higher, you can move directly into the Food Master’s programmes at Wageningen University & Research.
Another difference is that an HBO Bachelor’s is a complete programme, including an internship. As such, many students begin working after completing the HBO Bachelor’s. Even though completing an HBO Bachelor’s enables students to move directly into a Master’s programme, such as the programme at Wageningen, this is less common than for students completing an academic Bachelor’s. During the Bachelor’s in Food Technology at Wageningen, you will not have to complete an internship, because this is included as part of the Master’s programme. This is why many Bachelor’s students move on to the Master’s programme. Once you complete the Bachelor’s in Food Technology, there are a wide variety of Master’s programmes that you can enrol in directly, both in Wageningen and abroad.
Food scientists are also compared to chemists sometimes. While chemists work on transforming raw materials into a final product, they have nothing to do with the consumer. In contrast, a food technologist only develops products for consumers. This is more complex, because you deal with traits such as flavour and texture.