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About the Association

International Study Association Umami is the study association for students of the master Health Food Innovation Management of Maastricht University. This master is new and exclusive. It started in September 2009 and is situated in Venlo. Umami is founded in October 2010 by four students, with a lot of support of their classmates and several teachers.  The name ‘Umami’  is chosen by the first and second generation of Health Food Innovation Management students. 'Umami' has three distinct interpretations:

  1. Umami means ‘good flavor’ in Japanese. In Japan it was first discovered as being the fifth basic taste. The four most common tastes are sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Umami plays an important role in making food delicious.  

  2. The first two letters ‘UM’ is an abbreviation for our university; Universiteit Maastricht

  3. The last three letters, ‘ami’, mean ‘friend’ in French.  This suits to the informal and lovable way students cooperate with each other during this study.

Umami has a number of important visions: 

Not only will it provide support to members where it’s necessary and organize educational activities. It will also organize regularly events where members can meet and interact with each other in an informal way.

This unique Master of Science (MSc) programme in Health Food Innovation Management (HFIM) prepares us to understand the process of innovation in the food and beverage industry, with a specific focus on improving consumer health and healthy eating behaviour.


Through the multidisciplinary learning approach, we learn to translate consumer or industry questions into scientific research. But we also learn to communicate our findings to the industry in such a way that this leads to product innovation. The master is a two-year, full-time programme and thought in English. The programme will be offered at the Maastricht University satellite location in Venlo, under responsibility of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences.

The MSc programme HFIM is primarily intended for students with a background in nutrition oriented life sciences and who are interested in pursuing a career in product innovation and business management in the health food industry.

After succesfully completing the programme, you have the skills to integrate consumer and industrial demands with scientific research.

There are many career opportunities and you may find jobs in companies and organizations that focus their agro-food related activities on the management interface between product development, research and technology.

About Health Food Innovation Management

Your program is as far as I can see unique in its setup and will no doubt educate young people of the type we need" - Peter van Bladeren, Nestlé Research Center

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