Department of Food Science

Who We Are

The Department of Food Science is an academic department within the Purdue University College of Agriculture that offers academic programs, conducts scholarly research, and offers trainings and services for companies, industry and government employees. Our 23 faculty members are active research scientists conducting research in the areas of food chemistry structure and function, foods for health, food microbiology, food safety, food processing and technology development. We educate approximately 150 undergraduate students and 60 graduate students each year. Additionally, our department offers corporate partnership programs, facilities and services for companies and entrepreneurs.

We are housed in the Philip E. Nelson Hall of Food Science, named in honor of our first department head. Dr. Phil Nelson was Purdue's first World Food Prize Laureate in 2007.

Contact Us

Department of Food Science
745 Agriculture Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(765) 494-8256



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areas of focus


Undergraduate and Graduate programs

Purdue Food Science offers undergraduate degrees in Food Science & Fermentation Science, as well as a graduate degree program. We educate our students in a hands-on environment to prepare them for careers in industry, government, or academia.

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Our faculty and students conduct cutting edge research to solve tomorrow's problems in four major areas within the food science discipline:

  • Food chemistry, structure & function
  • Foods for health
  • Food safety & microbiology
  • Food processing & technology development
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extension and outreach

Our extension programs deliver practical, research-based information related to food and beverage processing, food safety, commercialization, and more. We provide this information to food and beverage companies, entrepreneurs, and consumers, with a goal to improve lives and livelihoods.

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To be the global leader in transformation of lives through the science of food.


We engage in discovery-driven activities leading to innovative learning and outreach that:

  • Enhance health, safety, quality, and sustainability of foods;
  • Prepare the next generation of leaders in food science; and
  • Address stakeholder needs.


We are the Department of Food Science at Purdue University — a community committed to excellence in all aspects of the land-grant mission; teaching, outreach and discovery. We seek to embody our mission, vision and values statements, not in words but through our actions. As such, this values statement communicates who we are, and strive to be.

As a team, we collaborate with respect but challenge each other to defend what we believe; understanding that health debate leads to stronger results. With challenge comes innovation in discovery, critical thinking in learning and programs with lasting impact. Through this process we produce leaders in thought and action.

Recognizing that the root and very strength of our discipline is diversity, we affirm this by thinking globally and embracing differences. Our commitment to respect for all allows freedom of thought, integrity of science and diversity of people. With a passion for improving the lives and livelihood of our stakeholders, we resolve that these values will be used to guide our mission and inspire our actions.