The Department of Food Science and Technology, through the Society of Food Technologists and Nutritionists (SOFTAN) held its inaugural dinner for its outgoing fourth year students, June 2, 2017.
The dinner themed: “Networking for Successful Careers in the Food and Nutrition Industry,” saw over 40 students from the Department of Food Science and Technology interact with their lecturers and leading food and nutrition industry players.
Speaking during the dinner, Chief Guest, Gladys Mugambi, Head, Nutrition and Dietetics in the Ministry of Health, said such a forum will aid tackle the conundrum of shortage of job seekers with critical skills and help the Department to produce competent graduates for such a specialist career.
“It is through such interaction that industry players can share their experiences and shade light on what the industry expects of our young graduates,” said Ms. Mugambi.
Ms. Mugambi, one of the pioneers of food fortification in the country, urged the students to explore their knowledge and skills gained in class to foster food security and nutrition in the country.
“Almost every food item you see in the supermarket has some input from a nutritionist, food scientist, food technologist or food engineer during its development, production and marketing,” Ms. Mugambi explained.
The Club Patron, Dr. John Kinyuru, acknowledged that the Department has a food product development laboratory and processing equipment facility, allowing the students to gain valuable hands-on experience of food processing and food product development.
“Engaging with the industry players supplements what we have been training in class and readies the students for what the industry expects of them,” said the patron.
Ms. Sheilla Awour, in her final semester of Food Science and Technology training, was thankful of the opportunity to interact with the various professionals during the dinner saying the advice and networks she established at the dinner are invaluable in building her career path in food science.
The forum was also addressed by Emmanuel Kabaki, General Manager, Milk Procurement and Extension, Brookside Dairy Limited, Elizabeth Nyambane of Afya Financial Advisory Services and Management Consultants, Johnson Kiragu from Partners in Food Solutions, Dr. Julius Maina, Chairman, Food Science and Technology, Dr. Churchill Saoke, Director, ALISO and Dr. Peter Kahenya.
SOFTAN, formerly known as Society of Food Technologists (SOFT), is a JKUAT students’ society formed in 2011 to provide a platform for students to sharpen and broaden their knowledge and skills in food science, and nutrition through networking and capacity building.