food science

By LeAnn Riley, Professor of Food Science & Technology, Bakersfield College 

Professor LeAnn Riley
Professor LeAnn Riley

Bakersfield College is excited to offer a new Food Science and Technology Program available to students this fall. Students will complete a rigorous scientific, hands-on curriculum that will prepare them for numerous career opportunities in the food production industry. Courses in the program will provide students the foundational knowledge to enter careers in local industry or the opportunity to advance to higher education. 

The Food Science and Technology program at Bakersfield College will introduce students to the production-to-consumption food system. The program focuses on the science, technologies, and systems used in the food industry. Skills gained through the program will be applicable to a wide range of areas within this growing industry. Students will learn how to feed the world in ways that are more equitable, healthy, and sustainable.

The 4 core areas of Bakersfield College’s Food Science and Technology program are food science, food safety, food production, and food plant management. 

Through our food science curriculum, students will focus on chemistry, biology, and physics concepts, laboratory skills, and testing equipment used in the food industry. Courses cover basic principles in food science, food chemistry, food microbiology, food engineering, food labeling, food quality, sensory evaluation, and nutrition.

Food safety and quality assurance are a major concern in food production and are incorporated into all courses within the Food Science and Technology program. Topics will cover food safety principles, practices, public policy and regulations governing and ensuring the physical, chemical, and biological control of microorganisms in food products. Students will study foodborne disease agents and their control, risk management, and traceability along with completing HACCP, quality, and standards trainings. 

Our production courses provide students with an overview of pre-and post-harvest processing techniques and plenty of hands-on experience of common manufacturing processing methods including fermentation, dehydration, freezing, heating, pressing, raw material handling, bottling, and labeling. Students will apply safety concepts to food and equipment used in the production process. 

Food plant management courses emphasize the management and principles associated with sanitation in food processing and preparation operations. Students will learn identification of hazards, assessment of risks, and systems required for an effective, safe food sanitation program. Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), Sanitary Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP), and allergen control are just a few of the topics covered in the curriculum. Practical management skills are an integral part of the curriculum. 

Students at Bakersfield College can earn a Certificate of Achievement in Food Science and Technology which consists of 18 units and can be completed in 1 year, or earn an Associates of Science in Food Science and Technology. Currently 2 courses within the program are articulated with CalPoly SLO, allowing students to easily transfer to their 4-year Food Science program. 

For more information on the Food Science and Technology program at Bakersfield College, contact Professor LeAnn Riley at

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