Egypt's first graduate level program in food chemistry has been launched at The American University in Cairo (AUC). The master's degree program seeks to develop food chemists who are capable of supporting Egypt's food industry and monitoring food safety.
"Despite the greatest need in developing safe products in Egypt, the study of food chemistry is not widely offered. Accordingly, AUC has taken the lead to develop a high level program that will meet the nation's needs for food production and security," said AUC Professor Hassan Azzazy, chair of the Department of Chemistry, and founder and director of the food chemistry program.
Food chemistry deals with the chemical examination and analysis of food and its four components: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins, and minerals, as well as food ingredients, additives such as artificial colors, food safety, covering chemicals, and packaging.
AUC is preparing students for leadership roles in the food industry by offering hands-on experience and a rigorous curriculum covering all aspects of food production, processing, packaging and consumption. It covers food microbiology, kinds of bacteria that lead to food poisoning, and the criteria of food safety. In addition, the program covers food processing, chemical changes that happen to food through processing, and the control of preservatives added to food to prevent bacteria.
"Our goal is to offer the AUC food chemistry program as a model for university-industry cooperation, through which both entities cooperate and work closely together toward better and safer food products," said Azzazy. He added that AUC is providing state-of-the-art equipment to assist students in carrying out advanced research. Program faculty experts in food chemistry are from renowned universities in the U.S., UK and Egypt.
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