Historical Timeline  - UC Davis  Department of Food Science and Technology - 1880 to present

(See the History page for some more details)

At UC Berkeley Campus (First UC Campus) – Department of Viticulture and Enology established

University Farm School in Davis establishes the Department of Dairy Industry.  25 students study butter making at the University Farm Creamery.

Division of Viticulture and Fruit Products established in Berkeley.

New Dairy Industry Building is dedicated; one of the first 2 permanent buildings on Davis campus.  Contains the Creamery & offices.  The Creamery develops a reputation for a brick cheese, which is light and soft, like a pepper jack.  

Division of Fruit Products established in Berkeley.

Division of Food Technology established by William Vere Cruess in Berkeley.

Emil Mrak becomes Chair of Department of Food Technology after W.V. Cruess.

Food Science Curriculum approved

Department of Food Technology moves to Davis, from Berkeley.  Move overseen by Chair Emil Mrak.  You can see some images of a Department picnic from the 1950s here.

Rose Marie Valdes Pangborn is first woman faculty member in FST.  She was the child of Mexican immigrants, born in New Mexico, and a pioneer in Sensory Science.

Brewing technology courses are first offered in Cruess Hall in the original pilot brewery.  More on the history of the brewing program.

Here are also a few pics from Picnic Day, 1958.

UC Davis designated as an independent campus of UC.  The Department of Food Science & Technology is founded from the consolidated Departments of Food Technology and Dairy Industry.  The Creamery is closed.  Master of Science (M.S.) in Food Science is the first degree offered by FST.  Emil Mrak becomes the 2nd Chancellor of UC Davis (after Stanley Freeborn, 1958-1959). 

Read the 1959 "Brewing Technology" article (by Mrak from the Master Brewer's Association of the Americas (MBAA) Technical Quarterly, reprinted in 1995 by J. McCabe) for a look at UC Davis Brewing's founding innovations. 

Cruess Hall (completed in 1952) is named for William Vere Cruess (1886-1968); and dedicated in March, 1960 (Dedication Event picture set). (Equipment/facility pics here.) W.V. Cruess at Berkeley 1910-1954; career in fruit utilization due to alcohol Prohibition in 1919-1920.  Sun drying & dehydration, fruit juices, concentrates, canning, freezing fruit cocktail, non-alcoholic beverages.  Teaches courses on same. Publishes book on Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Products, publications on Home and Farm Food Preservation.  Recognition & control of spoilage, development of fermented products.  Olives, including introduction of lactic fermented green olives to California.  Instrumental in founding Institute of Food Technologists & Northern CA IFT.  Pioneer for modern food systems and sustainability research, due to his work in economic utilization of surplus fruits & vegetables after Prohibition.  

Yeast research – early FST academics Herman J. Phaff, Martin Miller, following the tradition of yeast study by  Emil Mrak and W.V. Cruess.  Today, Phaff collection yeasts are very widely used.

B.S. in Food Science established

Dairy Industry Building renamed “Roadhouse Hall” for Chester Roadhouse (1881-1969), Professor of Dairy Science (1917-1951). 

B.S. in Consumer Science offered

B.S. in Food Biochemistry offered

Roadhouse Hall is leveled; seismically unfit.

Erika Barrett is the second woman faculty member of FST.  First woman to become Chair of Department.   

Peter J. Shields Endowed Chair in Dairy Food Science established with mission to provide continuous support for the chair holder to allow for the conduct of exemplary research, teaching, and continuous interaction with the dairy food industry.

Ph.D. in Food Science established. You can see some photos from 1980 - early 1990s here, courtesy of Professor Emeritus Gary M. Smith. 

First International Conference of Food Science and Technology (ICFST) held; the start of the collaboration between Jiangnan University and UC Davis Food Science and Technology.   

UC Lab for Research in Food Preservation moves under the jurisdiction of Food Science & Technology 

Barbara Schneeman (with FST/Nutrition 1976-2007) becomes first woman Dean of a College of Agriculture in the United States.

Emphasis in Brewing Science introduced

1993-2014 – emphases offered:
Consumer Food Science
Food Biology/Microbiology
Food Business & Management
Food Chemistry
Food Technology

UC Davis Food Science & Technology moves out of Cruess Hall and into the current facilities in the Robert Mondavi Institute complex of buildings.  Initially two academic buildings and a sensory building, with more buildings in the works. 

August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory opens – contains the Anheuser Busch InBev Pilot Brewery, the California Processing Tomato Industry Pilot Plant, and the Milk Processing Laboratory (as well as the winery which is run by Department of Viticulture and Enology). The Brewery, Winery, & Food Pilot Plant Facility is the world’s first LEED Platinum-certified facility.  A Grand Opening celebration was held January 28, 2011 - you can see a photo gallery of the celebration here, and read a news story here

Food Science degree emphasis returns

Department of Animal Science breaks ground on a Goat-Milking Parlor and Creamery for fluid milk and cheese. 

UC Davis Food Science & Technology, which remains one of the nation’s largest food science programs and one of the most published and cited in food science research, celebrates its 60th anniversary.