IUFoST Distance-Assisted Training Programme -Introduction

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 (DATP). 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 course instructor (usually someone with an advanced degree in food science and technology or considerable industry experience). Each of the TWELVE COURSES and RESOURCE MATERIALS may be accessed via the Courses page. They are divided into levels for study and each course is taken in whatever order best suits the participant.

The courses are:

  • Food Safety
  • Food Sanitation
  • Quality Assurance
  • Food Laws
  • Human Nutrition
  • Food Processing Overview
  • Shelf-Life of Foods
  • Thermal Processing
  • Food Dehydration
  • Food Chilling
  • Food Freezing
  • Food Packaging
  • Resource materials (e.g. Food Information, Post-Harvest Technologies, Making Jams and Jellies)

Each subject course is offered through a Distance-Assisted format. Each participant must have a course instructor in close proximity. The course instructor will download a manual that is provided for each course. 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 mentor will be available to the course instructor to answer questions and address concerns via email. Assignments will be available to assess learning and will be submitted to the course instructor 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 course instructor or participant please contact the IUFoST Secetariat (secretariat@iufost.org), subject line “course instructor” or “participant”.

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 the IUFoST Secretariat (secretariat@iufost.org)

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

____________________________________________________________________________

Welcome to Participants and Course Instructors
DISTANCE-ASSISTED TRAINING IN FOOD SCIENCE Q&A
On behalf of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), welcome to IUFoST’s Distance-Assisted 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 courses 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-Assisted Food Processing Courses?
The Distance-Assisted Food Processing courses 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 disciplined 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 courses. 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 12 basic courses available in the following subject areas:

  • Food Safety
  • Food Sanitation
  • Quality Assurance
  • Food Laws
  • Human Nutrition
  • Food Processing Overview
  • Shelf-Life of Foods
  • Thermal Processing
  • Food Dehydration
  • Food Chilling
  • Food Freezing
  • Food Packaging
  • Resource materials (e.g. Food Information, Post-Harvest Technologies, Making Jams and Jellies)

Each of these courses is divided into one, two, or three levels for study purposes. For example, the Food Dehydration and Drying Courses consists of Introductory, an Intermediate, and an Advanced level. The Introductory course 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 participants to move on to the Intermediate course. The Intermediate course 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 course, which is essentially equivalent to an introductory university level course, case studies are used to provide insight into more detailed drying calculations and process operation.

It is not intended that participants should complete all the courses 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 course topic, 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 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 courses 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 courses 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 course developers are also members of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST) who have been honored with this distinction for their notable contributions to Food Science in their home countries or internationally. The background of the individual course developers is 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.

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 the course instructor and participant through the various concepts and principles as well as providing instruction on problem solving techniques (if applicable). Course instructor will be assigned to each participant to provide local support. In addition, a course mentor will be available to the course instructor 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 course and will be marked by the course instructor or other appropriate individual.

Why Should You Take a Distance Education Course?
There are many reasons why you may want to take a Distance-Assisted 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
Welcome to the Distance-Assisted 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 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

Contact Us: secretariat@iufost.org
Copyright © 2019 IUFoST

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