Have you ever wondered who determines the cooking instructions on that package of frozen pizza pockets? Or how to keep canned green beans green? Do you like Chemistry and Biology?
If you answered yes to these questions, keep reading and find out if a bachelor’s degree in Food Science is a good choice for you.
What’s this career about?
Food science and technology is a vast field which includes fresh as well as packaged food. This field uses knowledge from chemistry, engineering and microbiology to produce foods that last longer with better retention of nutrients, to destroy pathogens and deactivate toxic components to make foods safer and to make ready convenient foods available throughout the year.
A Food Scientist studies the physical, microbiological and chemical make-up of food. They ensure that the rest of us eat the safest, tastiest food possible.
Food science technologists generally work in three main areas:
In applied research and development, they assist in the development of new processing methods and new or improved foods to meet customer requests for healthier and safer foods. In general, they conduct tests to see that products meet government and industry standards, and satisfy consumer needs (e.g., long shelf-life).
In quality control or assurance, they check raw ingredients for freshness, maturity or stability for processing, and check finished products for safety, quality and nutritional value. They may also develop scientifically based quality assurance programmes, inspect processing line operations, and develop and improve packaging and storage methods.
In processing plants, they develop production specifications, schedule processing operations, and evaluate processing and storage operations. They may also work in managerial positions.
The work may involve building relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as ensuring products are profitable.
- How do I get there?
- Key skills
- Institutes offering a degree in Food Science and Technology
- Employment prospects and pay packages
- Hot locations
Dr Vibha Gupta, a feature writer, is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. Her book Careers: A Pathfinder and articles in various publications are an attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.