+256 (0)31 2350 330, +256 (0)751349343
+256 (0)31 2350 330, +256 (0)751349343

Department of Food & Nutritional Science

Undergraduate courses

Bachelor of Food and Nutritional sciences

The program is designed to be a full time program which will take four academic years. Its main aim is to build a critical mass of graduates who will be able to develop businesses in food processing and value addition and tap into niche regional and international market opportunities.

This course enable you to pursue your interests within the food sector, whether you are keen to study it from a technological, nutritional or business angle.

This program involves academic studies and research activity   in relation to food technology, food quality and safety, human nutrition and dietetics.

Entry requirements

UACE or its equivalent with at least 2 principal passes in any of the science or technical related courses,likeBiology,Chemistry,Agriculture,Economics,Entrepreurship,Physics,Technical drawing ,Food and Nutrition, a relevant Diploma program (not pass) from a recognized institution of higher learning.

Intake: September 

Program structure

Since there are numerous directions to take in the fields of food and nutritional sciences, our program is structured into course units that help you to follow those paths through the following ways;

  • Help you understand the fundamental principles underpinning food and nutrition
  • Builds your knowledge of the chemistry and biochemistry of foods, including the role of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids in food quality.
  • Understanding the way that we assess whether food is safe and fit for purpose and learn about the way that international food quality management systems work and why these standards must be adhered to.
  • Provide you with both knowledge and practical skills of the ways in which we use microbes for the production of food and food ingredients – and what can go wrong.
  • Help you to understand how microbes grow and how we can control microbes during food production to ensure that foods are safe and have long shelf-life.
  • Learn practical techniques used in food microbiology and learn the principles of food fermentations and microbial metabolism.
  • Learn how we process raw materials into the wide range of safe, nutritious and tasty food products we consume daily.
  • Learn about different manufacturing processes and get hands-on experience in our own pilot-scale food processing plant.
  • Help you develop an understanding of the relationship between human physiology and the human diet by focusing on how diet can influence health and our likelihood of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and dementia in later life.
  • Help you discover the impact that nutrients have on cells, tissues and organs.
  • Learn about how public health advice and health claims are underpinned by clinical evidence.
  • Help you to have a very good understanding of several key areas: physiology, nutritional requirements, macro and micro requirement, how nutrients interact with health, and nutritional research.
  • Learn how to encourage people towards a healthier diet or increase a product’s sales, by understanding of what motivates people to make healthy diet choices.
  • Learn why people are attracted to certain food products, how marketing can be used to direct the buyer’s choice and how the performance of a product can be improved.
  • Enable you to excel in the commercial by acquiring some additional skills for example in the food business.
  • Learn both industry knowledge and the business skills to develop, manage and market food products.

 

How you will learn

You will learn in a supportive environment through lectures, group work and hands-on practical work in the laboratory and pilot plant all combined to build your skills and knowledge for an exciting career in food and nutritional sciences.

Practical sessions

The Department has fully and well equipped food science and microbiology Lab for investigating the chemical, physical and biological properties of food. The   tests performed to mention but a few include;

  • Food chemical analysis
  • Proximate analysis
  • Microbiological tests

Our Research

Our research is based on, enhancing health, ensuring safety and improving the processing of raw materials and products to benefit food quality with mission to improve the quality of food and nutrition.

Post graduate courses

Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics

NB; This program has been introduced this year. For more information on this, please contact the head of Department Food and Nutritional Sciences.

 

Faculty of Agriculture research projects and publication

We are a center of excellence in Vegetable Research, especially African indigenous vegetables. We realize that a number of these plants are increasing playing an important role in meeting the nutritional and health needs of many households globally. Current research activity in the rich source of diversity present within the African continent, does not match the potential value of these plants. There has been very little consolidated effort awards proper conservation, management, improvement and promotion of valuable germplasm. It is on this note that the department has set itself up in the following major focus areas:

Indigenous knowledge

Different local communities all over Africa use plants of Solanaceae family for various purposes. A comprehensive database on the uses, production, processing and informal markets for the various crops will not only enhance their value, but also promote their use across different platforms. Our main approach in our work is participatory.

Capacity Building

Due to limited research, there is a knowledge gap on the basic biology of these species. There is need to undertake more comprehensive studies on the cytogentic, biochemical; and molecular components, as well as develop molecular tools and proper ontology for future characterization of African Solanaceae plants. There is general lack of expertise in Africa for advanced research that would enhance knowledge of African indigenous vegetables. The faculty trains Master and PhD level scientists who will contribute to enhancing and utilization of these crops and promote their contribution to poverty alleviation and food security. We also do value chain analyses to build the capacity of small holder farmers through supporting formation and coordination of self-help groups to effectively transition from subsistence levels to commercial farming for improved incomes and livelihoods.

Nutrition and health:

The increasing concerns on narrowing food diversity and the recognition of the potential role of vegetables in combating micro-nutrient deficiencies, call for renewed research interest in underutilized nutritious vegetables such as those of the African Indigenous Vegetables. Effort to document the micro-nutrient and bioactive components of these plants, as well as establish systems for human intervention have begun for some species.

Seed systems

Seed systems remain an important aspects of improving crop production and is an invaluable component of enhancing the utilization of African solanaceous crops. There is need to identify relevant stakeholders, if any, in seed production, seed markets, quality management and regulation, as well as determine optimum seed management conditions for the benefit of the producers and consumers. So far, under Dutch funding from NWO/WOTRO, we are conducting research on a gender responsive commercial seed system for African indigenous vegetables. This is in partnership with Hanze University of Applied Sciences and CHAIN Uganda. Further, the crop improvement programs at the department of Agriculture continue to conduct research and develop seed systems for lesser known indigenous known indigenous vegetables such as Solanum scabrum and Solanum villosum, Vigna spp. Amranthus spp and Hibiscuss spp.

Crop improvement

UCU currently hosts the Afri-Sol network (ww.Afri-Sol.org) which is a network of scientists and other stakeholders with interest in Solanaceae species in Africa. Afri-Sol is affiliated to the Sol Genomics Network (ww.solgenomics.net). We have published denovo genome of Solanum aethiopicum in conjunction with the African Orphan Crops Consortium. The data will be added in the global genomics and later used in molecular breeding programs. S. aethiopicum is an important vegetable widely cultivated and utilized in most African countries. We also assembling the transcriptome of S. aethiopicum in order to understand different functional pathways utilized by the plant during various processes. Other research interests include improving S. aethiopicum production efficiency for small holder farmers targeting drought stress and disease resistance. The latter work is in collaboration with the World Vegetable Center, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and World Agroforestry Center and funded by BBSRC/GCRE, UK. Beyond that, we are developing S. aethiopicum varieties so far we have submitted some lines for variety registration and release in Uganda. Other areas of research interest include drought tolerance and post-harvest loss management.

 

Faculty of Agriculture partnerships

National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO)

The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)

 CSIR-Crops Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana

Regional Universities Forum for capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)

University of California, Davis

Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA), BecA-ILRI Hub, Nairobi

University of Ghana, Legon

Afrisol Network (www.afri-sol.org)