Dr. Peter A. Ebabhamiegbebho, PhD, MNIFST (Head, Department of Food Science and Nutrition)
I am delighted to extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to all students, faculty members, researchers, and
visitors who have chosen to join our esteemed Department. As the Head of Department, I am incredibly
proud of our outstanding work in Food Science and Nutrition, and I am excited to share our passion,
expertise, and dedication with you.
As a Department, we strive for excellence in teaching, research, and outreach, recognizing the vital role that
food and nutrition play in our daily lives and the overall well-being of individuals and communities. Our
dynamic and multidisciplinary approach combines cutting-edge scientific knowledge, innovative research
methodologies, and a commitment to societal impact, enabling us to address the complex challenges and
opportunities in the ever-evolving food and nutrition landscape.
Our Faculty members are distinguished experts in their respective fields, renowned for their research
contributions, and committed to nurturing the next generation of leaders in Food Science and Human
Nutrition. They bring diverse perspectives and expertise, fostering an environment of intellectual curiosity
and collaboration that encourages students to explore and push the boundaries of knowledge.
As a student in our Department, you will have access to a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum that
blends theoretical foundations with practical experiences. Whether pursuing an undergraduate or
postgraduate degree, you will benefit from our facilities, laboratories, and hands-on learning and research
opportunities. Our commitment to experiential learning ensures you are well-prepared to tackle real-world
challenges and make a meaningful impact in your chosen field.
We also believe in the importance of community engagement and outreach. We actively seek opportunities
to translate our research findings into tangible solutions that positively impact human health, food safety,
and sustainable food systems through our partnerships with industry, government agencies, and nonprofit
organizations. We welcome collaborations and connections with organizations and individuals who share
our vision of advancing the science and application of food and nutrition.
In addition to academic and research pursuits, we foster a supportive and inclusive community within the
Department. We value diversity in all forms and believe a diverse and inclusive environment enhances
creativity, innovation, and empathy. We encourage open dialogue, mutual respect, and the exchange of ideas
among our students, faculty, and staff, creating a vibrant atmosphere that celebrates individual strengths and
I invite you to explore our website to learn more about our faculty, research areas, academic programs, and
the exciting initiatives happening within our Department. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or
inquiries; we are here to support and guide you on your academic journey.
Once again, welcome to the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at University of Benin, Benin City.
Together, let us embark on a transformative and inspiring voyage of discovery, where we uncover the
intricacies of food and nutrition and strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and
HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOOD SCIENCE AND
The Faculty of Agriculture was founded in 1984 with proposed seven academic Departments viz: Animal
Science, Crop Science, Soil Science, Fisheries, Agricultural Economics and Extension Services, Forestry
and Wildlife and Food Science, respectively. While the first six programmes had been developed and taught
since the last 39 years, Food Science has not been so lucky inspite of its tremendous value in national
developments; particularly with regards to food and nutrition security.
In many ways, Food Science and Technology (FST) is a unique discipline which requires enormous human
and financial resources to establish. FST is the means by which man seeks to fully exploit and harness the
know-how, unlocked by and derived from the study of food. It exploits the industrial/economic potential
resources of food through the successful and profitable handling of fresh food commodities, converting them
into manufactured ingredients and food products designed and packaged for the distributive trade. FST can
therefore be regarded as the ‘Downstream Sector’ of the Agricultural Production system which represents
the ‘Upstream Sector’ of the agriculture and food value chains.
It is possible that the ‘founding fathers’ may not have recognized the value of the development of the FST
Degree Programme for national development unlike what had happened in the South-West, South-East,
North-Central and even in the North-East geopolitical zones of Nigeria. In the 1970s, FST was first
established at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1974 and which rapidly spread to several other
Tertiary Institutions in the zones as listed above. The South-South zone has been the slowest to recognise the
value of FST, the worst being the Edo-Delta region; the very reason for the underdevelopment of food and
agro-allied industries in the South-South region unlike the South-West, South-East and even the North-
Central and North-East, respectively.
The genesis of the process of developing the teaching of FST at Uniben actually began in 1989 and at the
instance of Prof. Mike Obadan of the Department of Economics and Statistics who showed so much concern
as to why Uniben Faculty of Agriculture did not have a degree programme in Food Science. So, when Prof.
John Oamen Igene (then the HOD FST and Dean, Postgraduate School, University of Maiduguri and later
the National President of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology) visited the University of
Benin in November, 1989, Prof. Obadan brought Prof. J.M. Olomu, Prof. P.O. Egharevba and Prof. Igene
together to discuss the need to have a Department of FST. That interaction in 1989 was quite fruitful and
thus led to Prof. J.O. Igene formally joining the services of the University of Benin in June, 1993. At this
time, he was domiciled at the Department of Animal Science where he coordinated the teaching of some
selected FST-based courses relevant to the B. Agric. Degree of the Faculty.
However, from 1993-2013; all efforts made to develop FST as a degree programme could not be achieved.
Fortunately, and to the credit of Prof. Abraham Oghoghodo as the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture (2013 –
2016) and with the overwhelming support of the majority of academic staff of the Faculty, Prof. J.O. Igene
and his team of Dr. Peter Ebabhamiegbebho and Dr. Smith Evivie were encouraged to develop the FST
Curriculum that was finally approved by Senate in 2014. This happened under the administration of Prof.
O.G. Oshodin as Vice-Chancellor. Although Prof. Oshodin was very supportive of the programme and had
in 2014 also approved huge funds for the purchase of laboratory equipment in anticipation for the take-off of
FST; again, the take-off of the Department could not be realized. It was at this point that Professor John
Oamen Igene ‘cried’ to the then Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. S.E. Bogoro who graciously
considered his plea and approved the sum of Eight Hundred Million Naira for the FST building (including
furnishing). Again this could not be realized due to the challenges that arose as Uniben could not execute the
first tranche of the project in two years and so the fund was retracted in 2016.
Fortunately, Prof. S.E. Bogoro was returned to Office in 2019 and Prof. J.O. Igene, once again, pleaded for
the restoration of the initial grant and which then was increased to a Billion naira. Construction actually
started in 2019 with Prof. S.E. Bogoro performing the ground breaking and foundation laying ceremony in
November, 2019. This ceremony was witnessed by several dignitaries, including the former Vice
Chancellor, Prof. F.F.O. Orhumwense and the present Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lilian I. Salami, who was then
preparing to take over as the new Vice Chancellor in December, 2019.
In July 2022, the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. E.R. Orhue, wrote to the Vice Chancellor
intimating her on the need for the Department to commence in earnest by appointing a Head of
Department. This request was granted by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lilian I. Salami and Dr. Peter A.
Ebabhamiegbebho was appointed as the pioneer Head of Department in February, 2023. The Department
has four pioneer academic staff members namely; Emeritus Prof. John O. Igene, Dr. Peter A.
Ebabhamiegbebho, Dr. Gideon I.O. Odafe, and Mr. Efezino S. Abel. In addition, four non-academic staff
were posted namely; Miss P. Emokpae, Miss E. Guobadia, Mrs. C.E. Haidar, and Mrs. O. Obaraye.
Today, in 2023, we have what can be described as a model structure (3-floor building), the most elaborate
facility and the best in the Nigerian Tertiary Institutions. It houses seven large spacious laboratories, a pilot
plant, several classrooms /offices/seminar rooms, and the 1 st purpose built Sensory Evaluation Laboratory in
a Nigerian University. Considering the uniqueness of the structure, it was, therefore, not out of place that the
TETFund in 2020 named UNIBEN as the “Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture and Food Technology.” The
long and bumpy journey of 34 years (1989-2023) now has a happy and glorious ending.
To God be the glory!!!
MISSION OF THE DEPARTMENT
Our mission is to provide our students with a comprehensive and rigorous education, conduct cutting-edge
research to advance scientific knowledge and address critical challenges, and positively impact society
through outreach and community initiatives in food science, nutrition, and dietetics. Guided by our core
values of integrity, excellence, and inclusivity, we strive to shape the future of food science and nutrition,
empower individuals, and contribute to society’s overall well-being through the transformative power of
food and nutrition.
VISION OF THE DEPARTMENT
Our vision is to become a globally recognized leader in the field of Food Science and Nutrition. We aim to
shape the future by conducting cutting-edge research, providing an exceptional educational experience, and
positively impacting society. Our goal is to address emerging challenges, produce skilled professionals, and
contribute to food security, public health, and sustainable food systems. Through our commitment to
excellence, diversity, and ethical conduct, we strive to advance the field, improve lives, and become a
driving force in the global arena.
ONGOING RESEARCH AND RESEARCH GROUPS IN THE DEPARTMENT
a. Ongoing Research
b. Research Groups
Research in the Department is undertaken within four main groups: Plant Product Utilization, Animal
Products, Food Biotechnology, and Food Quality Control. Each is a wide spectrum made up of sub-
divisions, which are based on discipline and expertise in specialized areas, including Tubers and starchy
foods, Cereals and Baking science, Brewing Technology, Oils and Fat Technology, Dairy Technology, Meat
Technology, Fruits and beverages, Spices and flavor science.
The Department has seven laboratories as follows:
a. Food Chemistry Laboratory
b. Food Microbiology and Safety Laboratory
c. Food Processing Laboratory
d. Food Biotechnology and
e. Sensory Evaluation Laboratory
f. Molecular Biology Laboratory
g. Food Engineering Laboratory
Learning outcomes provide a framework for the knowledge, skills, and competencies students should
acquire throughout their BSc Food Science Degree programme. They reflect the multidisciplinary nature of
the field and prepare graduates for various career opportunities in food production, quality assurance,
research and development, regulatory affairs, and more.
a) Knowledge of Food Science Principles: Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the
fundamental principles and concepts of food science, including the composition, structure, and
properties of food, as well as the various processing techniques involved in food production.
b) Food Safety and Quality Assurance: Understand and apply food safety principles, including
hazard analysis, critical control points, and adherence to relevant regulations and standards.
Implement quality assurance techniques to ensure safe and high-quality food production.
c) Food Chemistry and Analysis: Possess a strong foundation in food chemistry, including an
understanding of food components, their interactions, and the chemical changes that occur during
processing and storage. Proficiently use analytical techniques to evaluate the composition and
quality of food products.
d) Food Processing and Preservation: Acquire knowledge of food processing techniques, such as
thermal processing, refrigeration, freezing, drying, and packaging, and their impact on food
preservation, nutrient retention, and shelf-life extension.
e) Food Microbiology: Understand the principles of food microbiology, including identifying and
controlling microorganisms that affect food safety and spoilage. Apply appropriate microbial
analysis methods and develop microbiological control strategies in food production.
f) Sensory Evaluation: Demonstrate the ability to conduct sensory evaluation tests to assess the
organoleptic characteristics of food products. Interpret and analyze sensory data to understand
consumer preferences and make informed product development decisions.
g) Food Product Development: Apply scientific knowledge and principles to develop new food
products or improve existing ones. Understand the formulation, sensory attributes, and
marketability of food products, considering factors such as consumer trends, nutritional value, and
h) Molecular techniques underpinning Food and Nutrition: Develop insights into emerging
strategies that study food constituents at molecular levels and understand how the genomic
properties of specific microorganisms, e.g., dairy starter cultures, can improve the functionality of
food and dairy products.
i) Food Laws and Regulations: Comprehend and adhere to relevant food laws, regulations, and
labeling requirements. Understand the role of regulatory agencies in ensuring food safety, quality,
and consumer protection.
j) Food Nutrition and Health: Understand the relationship between food and human nutrition.
Apply knowledge of nutritional principles to evaluate and develop food products that promote
health and well-being.
k) Research and Critical Thinking: Develop research skills, including the ability to critically
analyze scientific literature, design and execute experiments, collect and interpret data, and
communicate research findings effectively.
l) Professional and Ethical Practices: Demonstrate professionalism, ethical conduct, and effective
teamwork in the food science field. Understand the social, cultural, and environmental impacts of
food production and consumption.
m) Communication Skills: Communicate scientific information effectively through written reports,
oral presentations, and visual media. Engage in scientific discussions, collaborate with
multidisciplinary teams, and effectively convey complex concepts to diverse audiences.