MOLECULAR NUTRITION AND FOOD TECHNOLOGY

Introduction

As the media remind us on a daily basis, we are what we eat. The key message here – whether from health gurus or from medical advisors urging overweight people to tackle their problems by eating less and changing their diet – is that there is a link between the composition and quality of the food we eat and our health.

With the MSc in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology, you can acquire the tools and knowledge required to develop nutritious foods – foods designed to reduce the risk of developing the lifestyle diseases of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, allergy and cancer.

INTERFACING FOOD TECHNOLOGY, NUTRITION AND HEALTH

The MSc in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology is a collaborative effort between four main academic areas at Aarhus University. This broad foundation means that students are taught by experts in their fields and also that the programme is based on a holistic understanding of the importance of food for human health. As a student on the programme, you will gain insight into how new processing methods affect the functional characteristics of foods. The MSc degree provides knowledge of molecular biology and technical skills at the all-important juncture between food technology, nutrition and health.

The MSc in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology is open to students with a BSc degree in the natural, technical or health sciences with a molecular biology content.

RESEARCH SUPPORT

Students choose whether to specialise in molecular biology or food science, and may linked up with relevant research groups in one of the four main academic areas in connection with thesis and project work. Another option is for students to write their thesis at an R & D department in a private company in the food industry.

CAREER PROFILE

The MSc in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology equips graduates for jobs in research and development and for advisory or administrative jobs in the food industry as well as in the public sector. The degree can also be the stepping-stone to a research career: students can apply for admission to the university’s PhD programme either after the first year of the MSc degree or following completion of the thesis.

AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES AT AARHUS UNIVERSITY

The field of Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University belongs to the elite among agricultural science institutions worldwide and carries out cutting edge research. The core areas of research are: Climate and natural resources, environment and bioenergy, organic farming, food quality, farm animal production and plant production.
Sustainability is a fundamental principle. The goal is to seek solutions that contribute to environmentally and economically sustainable development of the agricultural and food industries.

AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES IN THE RANKINGS

In the 2015 National Taiwan University Ranking, Aarhus University (AU) is number 11 in the field of Agricultural Sciences, in the 2016 U.S. News Best Global Universities ranking AU ranks 9 in the same field. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, AU ranks 51-100 in the field of agriculture and forestry.

Admission requirements

The following Bachelor’s degrees give admission to the Master’s degree programme in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology:

  • Bachelor in Molecular Biology or Molecular Medicine.
  • A scientific, agricultural, technical-scientific or medical scientific bachelor degree with a molecular biological content corresponding to a minimum of 60 ECTS. This includes a minimum of 10 ECTS within biochemistry and a further 50 ECTS within the subjects of chemistry, organic chemistry and analytical chemistry as well as molecular biology.

Programme structure

Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology is a 2-year MSc programme.

Academic regulations


 

Instead of a 60 ECTS master's thesis, the students can choose a 45 ECTS master's thesis and 15 ETCS elective courses.

Student life

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Meet our graduates

My project is studying protein from potatoes. The protein is a by-product that is left behind when the starch and fibres have been removed. I isolate the protein and it can subsequently be used in all types of food. In sausages, for example, the aim is to replace animal meat and fat with vegetable protein. This would be more environmentally sustainable and cheaper for both companies and consumers. You can do the same when you produce mayonnaise, or possibly even chocolate-coated marshmallows. Here you can use potato protein to partially or completely replace protein from eggs.

JESPER MALLING SCHMIDT, Graduate, MSc in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology and PhD student at Department of Food Science, Aarhus University


 

Photo: Line Bloch Klostergaard

In my graduate program, I was particularly glad for the practical exercises in the lab and the execution visits to relevant food companies, which gave me great inside into food analysis, applicable job opportunities and emphasized the purpose of my education for me. However, today I am mostly glad for the deep and critical understanding I have got of executing scientific research and reading scientific papers as I use this every day in my work.

Since I graduated, I have worked in 'Kulinarium', which is a research and development unit in nutrition, food and mealtimes anchored in the kitchen department at Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.  

In 'Kulinarium' we focus on research aimed at patients who are suffering from malnutrition. This is a massive problem among patients and hospitals worldwide being a huge economic burden on society and decreasing the patients’ quality of life.

My work revolves around designing better hospital foods from evidence based approaches and innovative solutions based on patients’ individual needs. In my work, I use several skills and knowledge from my education, amongst others how to build strong scientist work and being critical in reading scientific articles. I also benefit from my knowledge about food systems and analysis when designing better foods, in particular my knowledge about proteins and food fortifications. Finally, the education has given me a solid foundation and understanding of molecular nutrition, which helps me in specializing the foods to specific patient groups and their individual needs.

ANNE KATHRINE LARSEN, MSc in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology, working at Aalborg University Hospital

Career

Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2013/2014 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.