Certificate in Food Science


The University of Guelph is a leading institution in food science. The Certificate in Food Science 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 Certificate in Food Science

The Certificate in Food Science 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


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.

University of Guelph Degree Students

Please visit the University of Guelph Undergraduate Calendar for a list of required courses* and register through WebAdvisor.

*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 Loong-Tak Lim, undergraduate advisor, Food Science Department, or call 519-824-4120 ext. 56586.

Open Learning Program Students

The Certificate in Food Science 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. If you are planning on earning the certificate, you may take the courses in any order, as long as you meet the prerequisites.

If you take one course per semester, you can complete the certificate in five semesters.

There is no application process for the program, you can just register for courses through the Open Learning program.

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.

Semester Offering: Winter or Summer
Prerequisites: none

View the FOOD*2010DE course description page.

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.

Semester Offering: Summer
Prerequisite: Introductory Chemistry

View the FOOD*2400DE course description page.

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.

Semester Offering: Winter
Prerequisites: Introductory Chemistry and Introductory Biology/Microbiology

View the FOOD*2410DE course description page.

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.

Semester Offering: Fall
Prerequisite: Introductory Biology/Microbiology

View the FOOD*2420DE course description page.

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.

Semester Offering: Fall
Prerequisite: FOOD*2400
Restrictions: This course may not be taken for credit by students in specialized honours Food Science.

View the FOOD*3430DE course description page.

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.

Semester Offering: Winter
Prerequisites: FOOD*2010, FOOD*2410 and FOOD*2420

View the FOOD*4310DE course description page.


For your convenience, you can register for courses using OpenEd's new secure online registration system.

Register button.

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.

Additional Information

When you have completed all the requirements for this certificate, you can request your parchment through the OpenEd Student Portal.

If you would like additional information on distance education, please visit our Online Learning at U of G page.