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Food Science Certificate

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The University of Guelph is a leading institution in food science. The Food Science Certificate program is designed to provide you with a broad understanding of this discipline. If you are looking to advance your career in the food industry, develop new job responsibilities in a food-related industry, or build food industry skills for a new position or change in career, then this program is well suited for you.

About the Food Science Certificate

The Food Science Certificate program concentrates on the chemistry, analysis, microbiology and processing of foods, and on the maintenance of food safety and quality throughout. The program provides recognition for individuals outside of the University of Guelph interested in the field of food science and for food science education for University of Guelph students not in the B.Sc. Food Science Major.

This certificate program will be of interest to:

  • Food industry personnel seeking formal food science education or wishing to upgrade their present qualifications
  • Technical sales and marketing personnel needing to know how their products work
  • Dietitians and nutritionists wanting to know more about food science and processing
  • Government-employed food and public health inspectors needing to expand their knowledge base

How to Register

Open Learning Program Students

For your convenience, you can register for courses using OpenEd's secure online registration forms. Once a course opens for registration, links to the secure online registration forms will be available on specific description pages (found in the Available Courses section below). Visit our How to Register page for alternative ways to register and for methods of payment.

Please note that some courses and programs have an approval process that must be completed prior to confirming enrolment. See specific individual course description pages for details.

If you have any questions about registration, please email our main office or phone us at 519-767-5000.

University of Guelph Degree Students

If you are a University of Guelph degree student, please register for your courses through WebAdvisor.


Open Learning Program Students

The Food Science Certificate program is comprised of five online degree-credit food science courses.* All courses are delivered entirely online through CourseLink, the University of Guelph's online learning management system. Courses may be taken individually or as part of the certificate program. It takes approximately two years to complete the program.

Completion of the following five online courses is required for the Open Learning program Food Science Certificate:

Required Courses

The following four online courses are required:

FOOD*2010DE - Principles of Food Science

The principles involved in the processing, handling and storage of foods are introduced in this course. The relationship of science and technology to food processing is discussed.

FOOD*2400DE - Introduction to Food Chemistry

The chemistry and biochemistry of the major components of foods (lipids, proteins, carbohydrates and water/ice) are introduced in this course. In addition, an overview of some of the reactions and changes in food components which occur during processing, handling and storage will be presented. This course may not be taken for credit by students in the Food Science Major.

FOOD*2410DE - Introduction to Food Processing

Food processes and the relationships between chemistry, microbiology, and engineering as they apply to food processing are discussed. The following topics are included: high and low temperature processes; moisture control and intermediate moisture foods; concentration and dehydration processes; and novel food processing techniques.

FOOD*2420DE - Introduction to Food Microbiology

An introduction to the major groups of microorganisms important in foods is presented in this course, including microbial spoilage of food, food-borne illness, and food fermentations. Sources of contamination during production, processing and storage of foods and evaluation of food processing conditions used to control the presence and/or growth of microorganisms in foods are discussed.

Elective Courses

Choose one of the following online courses:

FOOD*3430DE - Introduction to Food Analysis
This course offers an introduction to quantitative analysis of foods by chemical, physical and instrumental means. Determination of both major and minor constituents of foods are discussed. 

This course may not be taken for credit by students in specialized honours Food Science.
FOOD*4310DE - Food Safety Management Systems
Participants will learn and apply principles of food safety management and the systems involved. The course is organized in four modules: plant hygiene, principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), HACCP based food safety programs in Canada, and ISO Food Safety Management Systems.

Available Courses

The following online courses are offered in the upcoming fall semester:

University of Guelph Degree Students


Please visit the University of Guelph Undergraduate Calendar for a list of required courses.*

*Most courses in the certificate program cannot be applied towards requirements for an undergraduate food science degree at the University of Guelph due to the laboratory requirements of the undergraduate curriculum; however, the 'Principles of Food Science' course (FOOD*2010DE) can be applied towards the degree. Students planning to pursue an undergraduate degree at another university are advised to contact the food science program advisor at that institution since program requirements may vary. If you have questions about the food science degree program offered through the University of Guelph you can email Dr. Doug Goff, Undergraduate Advisor, Food Science Department, or phone him at 519-824-4120 ext. 53878.


Post-secondary courses in microbiology and chemistry are requirements for entrance into the program. Various colleges and universities offer acceptable courses by distance education, for example Athabasca University (BIOL204 and CHEM217).


Various careers in food science include: Food Scientist, Food Safety Inspector, Food Microbiologist, Packaging Specialist, Food Product Developer, etc.

Additional Information

If you would like additional information on distance education, please visit our Distance Education FAQs page.