New opportunity: Mount Mary University adds food science bachelor's degree program

Mount Mary University food science degree program

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee is one of the leading cities in the nation when it comes to careers in food science. To keep up with the demand for skilled workers, Mount Mary University is offering a new degree program.

"I love chemistry and I love figuring out how things work," said Marie Shoemaker, food science student.

A love for chemistry and cooking is why Shoemaker is one of the first food science students at the university. On Wednesday, March 29th, she was conducting an experiment to understand how different types of sugar react to heat.

Mount Mary University food science degree program

"Every piece of food that comes into your house is probably going to have some amount of food science involved," said Shoemaker.

Marie Shoemaker

Food science examines how food, and its nutritional value, changes either through processing or cooking.

"We really have a shortage of food sciences in this state, really in the country," said Anne Vracick, professor of food science at Mount Mary University.

So Mount Mary University started a food science bachelor's degree program this year.

From food safety to sustainability, courses involve a lot of chemistry and analytics.

"I think a lot of people are interested in knowing where your food comes from, what has been done with your food," said Cheryl Bailey, Mount Mary University dean of school of natural and health sciences.

Mount Mary University food science degree program

The courses also help students understand the instruments food companies use.

"An HPLC measures whatever particular molecule you're interested in knowing the quantity of," said Vravick.

Mount Mary's curriculum is built with the help of local professionals in the food industry -- ensuring students get the right training and connect with potential employers.

"It is a great area of the country to be in as far as being a food science student," said Shoemaker.

Mount Mary University food science degree program

Since the program just started, there are only five students at Mount Mary with declared majors in food science with more expected for the 2017-2018 school year.