YPSILANTI, Mich., April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to the recent boom in industries related to fermentation, especially craft brewing, Eastern Michigan University has created a four-year program in fermentation science.
Cory Emal and Gregg Wilmes, professors of chemistry at EMU who designed the new academic program, say it is intended to provide students with an understanding of the basic science behind fermentation, tied together by several specific courses in that area, along with required core science courses such as biochemistry, microbiology, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, cell and molecular biology and genetics.
Emal and Wilmes note that nationwide there has been a significant increase in the interest in and consumption of fermented food and drinks, spurred from an increase in small-batch, artisan crafted products and from an increased acknowledgment of the health benefits of a diet that includes certain fermented foods.
Thus, craft beverages such as a beer, wine and cider have increased in popularity, as have fermented foods such as yogurt, bread, cheese, dry-cured sausage and kimchi.
Additionally, non-food fermentation is on the rise, such as in the production of fuel ethanol from biomatter, and in the production of pharmaceutical products.
"As the market for these products has increased, so has the need for trained and knowledgeable college graduates to fill scientific position in various rapidly growing industries," Emal says. "The program brings together subjects from multiple disciplines, primarily chemistry and biology, and frames them in the context of the science of fermentation and its practical application, done through the creation of several new courses."
Graduates from the program would qualify for challenging careers in a wide variety of areas, including scientific support of breweries and wineries, pharmaceutical companies, and biofuel producers. Additionally, students with an interest in the management side of the industry can choose from several electives offered by the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at Eastern.
"It's a rigorous program that serves a burgeoning industry in a variety of areas," Wilmes says. "In addition to its distinct and targeted academic offerings, we are excited about the opportunity to build strong ties with community partners, as students doing their capstone projects apply what they've learned in coursework towards real problems in the industry."
For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.
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SOURCE Eastern Michigan University