I am sure most of you might be sceptical about career options available in food science and technology. Food is something which will always remain in demand and recession proof. The demand for specialists in food scientists has grown exponentially with the onset of consumer demanding for convenient, safe and nutritious food and beverages.
The fields vary from R&D, manufacturing, quality control, sales & marketing, teaching and consulting within the government, industry or academia. Fret no more because in this article you shall get a considerable amount of idea about choosing a career in Food Science & technology.
What is food science & technology?
Science + Engineering = Food Science & Technology; basically, it is an attempt to improve a quality of food products for the users and also evaluate the process, package the food and finally distribute it. The role of a specialist in food science and technology involves developing quality, nutritious foods, and innovative food packaging. The food scientist has to indulge himself in research, clinical trials, food inspection and also be involved in creating food preservatives.
Food science and technology are responsible for many day-to-day popular food products. For example:
- Frozen Food
- Canned Food
- Ready to eat food like pizza,french fries, burger and snacks.
- Microwave Meal
- Ready-To-Eat Meals
- Milk : various varieties like skimmed,long life and semi skimmed
- Baby Food
- Low Fat Butter
- Coffee (Related: 9 Myths About Coffee and Tea That Seriously Need to Die)
- Cereals ( energy bars as well)
- Packaged Juice ( Vegetable and Fruit ) (Related: How about trying some Natural Energy Drinks)
- Carbonated Drinks (Pepsi), Energy Drinks (Red Bull), Wine,Beer and similar alcoholic beverages
Who are food scientists & technologists?
A food scientist’s basic work is to research existing methods of food packaging and processing, it could vary from studying nutritional contents, investigating alternative sources and ways to purify food items.
Food technologists are concerned more with product development. This stream narrows down to biotechnology and provides scope for people to work on genetic engineering of plants and crops as well as gain insight on converting agricultural products into fuel sources.
What are the prerequisites to enter into the world of food Science & technology?
One must have a good grounding in the basic sciences mainly chemistry, microbiology, and physics. The future courses will be based out of food chemistry, analysis of food and food processing options and most of your life will be spending and experimenting at the laboratory.
Basic knowledge about computers is also necessary since you will have to analyze data and prepare reports. Furthermore, you will have to learn how to work as a team as well as independently and communicate clearly.
To get real time experience on how a food industry is about one must work in a food company. You could try applying for internships while you’re in your final year of college or complete some on-the-job training when placed in a food company.
What are the potential career opportunities as a Food Scientist or a technologist?
There are an infinite number of career options for budding food scientists and technologists out there. Everybody loves food and is need of the same. Work can be found in versatile industries from food processing to universities and government agencies.
Few Sectors where you can work as food scientist are:
- Food Preservation Companies
- Food Processing Companies
- Government Food-Related Health Agencies
- Beverage Production Companies
- Food Processing Units of Catering Companies, Hotels, and Fast Foods
- Both International and local NGOs on Food and Malnutrition.
Careers in food science and technology give food researchers the once in a lifetime opportunity to make an impact on the health of people’s diets across the globe. Jobs directly related to your degree are:
- Animal nutritionist
- Food technologist
- Product development scientist
- Nutritional therapist
- Technical brewer
Few more jobs where your degree would be useful are:
- Amenity horticulturist
- Production manager
- Purchasing manager
- Quality manager
- Retail buyer
Food Scientists can be employed in versatile parts of the globe especially in agro-industries, food processing/production and in research centers. For example:
Research Technician – To handle research related work.
Quality Assurance Supervisor – To monitor and check the quality of food.
Nutrition Scientist – To conduct various tests and ensure that the best standards are implemented in the Fast Food Chains, Food processing,Hotels,packaging industries,Government Health Agencies,Restaurants, NGO’s with the motive being the eradication of malnutrition.
If you want to know how you can get a nutrition degree online , read this article on How to Get a Nutrition Degree Online – Step by Step Guide
Nutrition Consultants – To work as a consultant on diet and nutrition in hospitals, NGOs or private firms.
Food Science Lecturer – To work as a teacher in the food science department.
Product Developer – To be an innovator and create new food products ranging from instant noodles to packaged food items.
So what’s in store for the future?
My verdict is that if you’re passionate about food and technology you should definitely consider about having a career in the same. It’s quite versatile, interesting and will never cease in the market.
Till then be healthy, keep eating and enjoy your food. Ciao guys.