IUFoST E-Learning Training Programme

INTRODUCTION

One of the objectives of IUFoST is to provide opportunity for education and training to all professionals engaged in providing a safe, nutritious food supply to consumers. To that end, the IUFoST Distance Education Task Force developed a Distance-Assisted Training Programme. This programme is aimed at those involved in any way with the growing, production, processing, marketing, distribution, or preparation of food products who do not have formal training in food science and technology and desire to advance their career and enhance the quality of the food supply.

The programme is delivered to a participant through a local mentor (usually someone with an advanced degree in food science and technology or considerable industry experience). Each of the ten modules is divided into two or three levels for study and each module is taken in whatever order best suits the participant.

The modules are:

  •  Food Safety
  •  Quality Assurance (including HACCP)
  •  Food Laws and Regulations
  •  Shelf-Life of Foods (including food losses)
  •  Thermal Processing
  •  Dehydration and Drying
  •  Food Freezing
  •  Food Packaging
  •  Practical Human Nutrition
  •  Minimal Processing

Each subject module is offered through a Distance Assisted format. Each participant must have a mentor in close proximity. The mentor will download a manual that is provided for each course within a module. The manual will guide the participant through the various concepts and principles on the topic as well as provide instruction on problem solving techniques (if applicable). In addition, a course administrator /instructor will be available to answer questions and address concerns via email. Assignments will be available to assess learning and will be submitted to the mentor for grading within a specified time period. Please see Q&A at the bottom of the page for more information on all aspects of the E-Learning Programme.

If you would like to participate as a mentor, please register here for the e-learning programme. If you are a potential participant, please register here for the e-learning programme and identify a local mentor to work with you for a module. If you need assistance in identifying a mentor, please contact elearning@iufost.org., subject line "Mentor Required".

We hope that you find the programme useful and informative, contributing not only to personal career goals but also in helping society to a safer, more secure food supply. Should you have suggestions for improvement of the programme, please send them to elearning@iufost.org, subject: IUFoST Distance Education ideas

Sincerely,

The Distance Education Task Force

International Union of Food Science and Technology

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Welcome to Participants and Mentors

DISTANCE EDUCATION TRAINING IN FOOD SCIENCE  Q&A

On behalf of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), we would like to welcome you to our Distance Education Training Program. We are delighted that you are considering furthering your training in one or more areas of food science.

One of the most important things to enhancing the quality of life in any society is the availability of safe, dependable, and nutritious food supply. Those of you who are involved in any way with the growing, production, processing, marketing, distribution, or preparation of food products all have a critical role to play in delivering high quality food products to the consumer. The agri-food industry is continuously faced with challenges brought on by food shortages in various parts of the world, or outbreaks of food-bourne diseases that can have a serious impact on the health and well-being of people of all ages. It is our fondest hope that the information presented in the various course modules offered here will provide you with a knowledge base to enable you to work with us in establishing our goal of delivering safe, high quality food to all consumers.

What are the Objectives of the Distance Education Food Processing Courses?

The Distance Education Food Processing modules have been designed to address the need for training of workers in the food processing industry. They are aimed at providing information and training that will enable food industry workers to perform their jobs in a more informed and enlightened manner. One of our goals is to create an awareness of the problems associated with improper food processing practices and offer instruction in how to approach food processing concerns in a structured and discipline manner. Such awareness and training can go a long way in helping produce a safe, dependable, and nutritious food supply for the consumer.

Who Should Take These Courses?

It is intended that anyone involved in the agri-food industry from primary production of food and raw materials on the farm, all the way through to delivering finished food products to the consumer should consider taking any of the available modules. We are particularly interested in providing employees in the food processing industry with training to enable them to perform their jobs more effectively. This will also provide insight and knowledge to understand the impact of various actions on the safety and quality of the foods that are produced.
IUFoST continues to recognize the importance of a well-trained and educated work- force in the food processing industry, and is committed to providing educational material and resources to promote such training.

What Course Topics Are Available ?

There are ten basic course modules available in the following subject areas:

1.    Food Safety

2.    Food Laws and Regulations

3.    Quality Assurance

4.    Food Dehydration and Drying

5.    Food Freezing and Chilling

6.    Thermal Processing

7.    Shelf-Life of Foods

8.    Food Packaging

9.    Nutrition

10.  Minimal Processing

Each of these modules is divided into two or three levels for study purposes. For example, the Food Dehydration and Drying Module consists of an Introductory, an Intermediate, and an Advanced level component. The Introductory level is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the principles and concepts of food drying. Topics such as why food is dried will help set the stage for further drying studies. It assumes no prior knowledge of food drying and is intended to present sufficient basic information for students to move on to the Intermediate level drying course. The Intermediate level deals more with understanding food drying operations. “Cause and effect” relationships in industrial drying are discussed to illustrate what happens when certain changes occur in a drying process. Numerical calculations are illustrated and problem solving is stressed. In the Advanced level course, which is essentially equivalent to an introductory university level course, case studies areused to provide insight into more detailed drying calculations and process operation.

It is not intended that participants should complete all ten modules at each level. However, that would certainly be beneficial in developing a full appreciation of the food processing sector. There will be students who wish to study only specific topics such as thermal processing, or food packaging, for example. For those who do wish to study and complete more than one module, it is recommended that they approach the topics in the order in which they are listed above to obtain a logical progression of information from which one topic leads into the next.

How Did These Modules Originate ?

The concept of providing training material for those actively involved in the food processing industry was proposed in 2002 by then IUFoST President Walter Spiess. This was in response to a series of Millennium Goals put forth by the United Nations. One of these goals was the reduction of poverty and hunger in the world. Dr. Spiess felt that training and education were essential components in addressing the issue of world hunger. In response to this initiative, the president appointed a Distance Education Task Force, which then drafted a plan to develop a series of subject modules in various areas of food processing that could be offered to food industry workers.

During the period from 2005 to 2007, a pilot training module in Food Dehydration and Drying was prepared to serve as a basis from which other subject modules could be developed. Discussions also took place to determine the levels of complexity expected for each subject area. In 2007, a team of volunteers was assembled from the International Food Science community to develop the actual training material. These individuals are literally from all the continents of the world and reflect a global commitment to the growth and betterment of Food Science and Food Processing. They include university professors and Food Science consultants - all with extensive experience in their respective areas of expertise. Many of the module developers are also members of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST) who have been honoured with this distinction for their notable contributions to Food Science in their home countries or internationally. The background of the individual course developers will be summarized with the course material for each subject.
Overseeing the development of the course material and attending to the various administrative concerns is the Distance Education Task Force chaired by Dr. Daryl Lund, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin - Madison USA.

What is the Study Format ?

Each subject course is intended to be offered through a Distance Education format. A manual will be provided for each course that will guide you through the various concepts and principles as well as providing instruction on problem solving techniques (if applicable). Course “mentors” will be assigned to each student, where possible, to provide local support. In addition, a course administrator will be available to answer questions and address concerns via e-mail.
Participants will be given assignments to complete and submit for grading within a specified time period. A written examination will be given at the completion of each
level of study within a subject module and will be marked by the module administrator or other appropriate individual.

Why Should You Take a Distance Education Course ?

There are many reasons why you may want to take a Distance Education Course in Food Processing. Many of these reasons may be personal in nature. However, acquiring additional skills and knowledge regarding food processing and related topics can have significant benefits.
Increasing your education in Food Processing can assist you in:

  •  performing your job better. By understanding the reasons why things are done in a certain way, you can more fully appreciate the overall significance of each  step in the food processing sequence.
  •  furthering your food processing career. By acquiring additional knowledge, you can take on additional responsibilities and benefit from potential advancement.
  •  helping create safer, high quality foods. By understanding “cause and effect” relationships in food processing, you can work to enhance food safety and quality to provide consumers with a safe     dependable supply of food products.
  •  acquiring marketable skills. By developing a skill-set in a particular area of food processing, you can enhance your employability in the food processing industry.

Final Comments
Once again, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the Distance Education Training Programme. We hope that you find the study material interesting and informative, and that it will be of benefit to you in your area of the food processing industry.
If at any time during your studies you have some ideas or comments that would enable us to improve our course material or course delivery, we would be most happy to hear from you.

Sincerely,
The Distance Education Task Force International Union of Food Science and Technology