How A Career In Food Science And Technology Can Change Your Life?
“Food Science? Culinary Arts you mean? No? Something related to Hospitality?” We’re certain that it was your reaction when you first heard about this field – or now if this is the first time – and we’re guaranteeing you that this will be the reaction of people when you tell them that you’re pursuing this field accompanied by mixed reactions of confusion and astonishment! Afterward, you’ll be convincing them that you are not a Chef followed by a detailed discussion on every one of the brilliant things food science is.
With a food technology degree, you can impact food decisions and potential outcomes! The average grocery store offers over 20,000 goods, the majority of which were engineered by food scientists into healthy, economical, and appetizing products. Imagine strolling down the local supermarket aisle and recognizing that YOU had a key role in getting a delicacy from farm to plate!
What is Food Technology?
Food Sciences is an interdisciplinary area that studies food using principles from chemistry, microbiology, and other physical sciences. Research is used to create and analyze innovative food items, as well as to discover the new procedures involved in their manufacturing and presentation. Food Science degrees also look at how to preserve and store various types of food while maintaining food safety and quality.
It entails the research of food properties like nutritional composition, reactivity, and changes that occur at various stages of processing and preservation, as well as the microbiological aspect of food in order to avoid spoilage and extend shelf life. Through innovative processing, preservation, and packaging technologies, food specialists strive to enhance production procedures.
Food scientists research novel ingredients with improved nutrition and health advantages, as well as developing new goods or technology to extend food shelf life. A food technologist is concerned not only about the food production process but also about the layout of the food processing facility and other processing equipment. They are also involved in the development of the product's safety and regulatory issues, as well as the inspection and accreditation of the food plant.
People will always have to eat, and the food sector is among the biggest in the globe. This means that you will always have a livelihood if you work anywhere in the food supply chain. Although some food firms close or lay off employees, you may be able to adapt your talents to other foods or processes, which is a major advantage of this degree.
The food industry is a rising sector in the world. Both the public and private sectors have a significant demand for qualified food professionals. Food technologists guarantee that the food items are manufactured and modified in a safe, legal, and efficient manner.
After graduating or completing a post-graduate program in food technology, one can work in these fields:
- Food Technologist: Production/Operation/ Qa/Qc
- R&D: New Product & Process Development
- Marketing & Sales, Business Development & Marketing Analysis
- Procurement & Supply Chain Management
Types of companies with career opportunities:
- Corporate Food Manufacturing Companies
- Food Research Laboratories
- Food Quality & Certification Organizations
- Food Packaging Companies
- Food Machinery & Instruments Manufacturing Companies
- Flavor Houses
- Agricultural Commodities Export Ventures
- Food Wholesalers
The job responsibilities consist of the followings:
- Develop recipes and formulas for novel food and beverage items using scientific expertise.
- Investigate and discover several methods for keeping food fresh for longer periods of time.
- Work in laboratories to create product samples by combining diverse flavors.
- When mass-producing things, make sure they have the appropriate form, color, and consistency.
- Ascertain the manufactured product's quality, safety, and authenticity.
- To design creative items, stay up to speed with the increasing consumer market and current technology.
- Collaborate with dealers on quality issues and new product development.
- When acquiring ingredients, raw materials, and chemicals, manage dealers and external suppliers to secure the best pricing.
Your how-to guide to pursuing a career in Food Technology?
Below mentioned is a step-by-step comprehensive guide to get you on track for the Food Technology profession.
Bachelor’s degree in Food Science/Technology
- A bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline such as nutrition, chemistry, biology, or agricultural science is required.
- Food Quality, Food Composition, and Food Microbiology are among the specializations that you can choose from.
- Participating in food science research and networking with food science specialists can help you stand out from the crowd.
Opt for a master's in Food Technology
- Give an edge to the work opportunities by earning a graduate degree, such as an MSc in Food Technology.
- Master's degree programs provide expanded chances for research and publication through dissertations and thesis. They also include specializations like sensory evaluation and dairy science.
- Most essential, take on a supervisory role in experiments and group projects to hone your leadership abilities.
Gain research exposure
- Working experience enables you to undertake research, build innovative food production and processing methods, test food products, and define safety standards.
- Prior experience is often required to get the certification at institutions.
- Food scientists with a minimal degree of education and hands-on experience can take a certification test offered by a variety of organizations and institutes.
- The subjects covered in these exams include product development, food safety, and quality control.
- You may, however, be obliged to renew your certification on a regular basis.
Best places to pursue Food Technology
We wouldn't be enjoying the magnificent foods we do today if it weren't for Food Science.
Experts gain expertise in both agriculture and science as a byproduct of this discipline. These experts also assist in improving food safety and processing, to name a few of the numerous sciences engaged in the field of food technology.
If you want to pursue a career in food science, consider studying in one of the following countries:
Living and studying in New Zealand is a fantastic experience. New Zealand, one of the greatest countries for food science, is attracting an increasing number of students due to its amazing affluence and health status.
The fact that Food Science is a portable degree is a plus. After completing this degree in New Zealand, you will be qualified for Food Science positions all around the world.
Foreign nationals can study further basic sciences, food chemistry and processing, food systems, and sensory science at the University of Otago, for instance.
Similarly, students at New Zealand institutions can choose from a number of instructional methods. Future food scientists can study here through lectures, seminars, and lab practical assessments.
Canada has the second-largest food and beverage business in the world. In reality, this business generates $112 billion in income for Canada.
Given the chances that come with a university degree, an increasing number of people are opting for a Canadian education. This is especially true in the field of food science, which is one of the most profitable in the country.
Consider McGill University, one of Canada's most prestigious institutions. Students can enroll in a Food Science course to study more about the chemical ingredients, systems, and processing of food, to mention a few topics.
McGill students can minor in Agribusiness Entrepreneurship in addition to concentrating in Food Science. Food Science grads from Canada can find plenty of job opportunities with these degrees.
Spain is more than just a pleasant vacation destination; it's also an excellent choice for students interested in Food Science.
The food business, for example, is extremely important to the Spanish economy. And besides, meats, seafood, olive oil, and processed foods are among the country's main exports. With these, Spain provides a wealth of study possibilities for any student of Food Science.
A Food Science program is available at several universities. The ancient University of Barcelona (UB) is one of them, offering courses in food production, design, packaging, and conservation, to mention a few.
Torribera Food & Nutrition Campus is a specialist laboratory at UB. Sensory Analysis, Instrumental Analysis, Culinary Biology, and Food Chemistry, to mention a few, are among the technological innovations in Food Science available.
United States of America
Because it is home to one of the world's major food businesses, the United States is undeniably one of the greatest countries to study food science. It earns $1.109 trillion in revenue each year, accounting for 5.2 percent of its GDP.
This 'food' playground has attracted all Food Science majors to the United States.
For one thing, the United States has a number of colleges that offer Food Science majors. Cornell University, for example, is an Ivy League institution. The institution provides a competitive Food Science program through its College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Students are prepared for careers in the food business through education, research, and outreach - three important factors that help shape future leaders.
Cornell University, for example, is known for its outreach initiatives, which aid in the dissemination of research-based knowledge throughout the food sector. They also encourage industry participation, which aids in the implementation of innovative Food Science research.
France, like Italy, is known for its exquisite cuisine. This, along with a number of other features, makes France an ideal place to pursue food science.
One of the numerous French universities that offer Nutrition & Food studies is Université Paris-Saclay (UPS). Graduates at UPS will learn how to ensure food quality and safety, as well as food design and formulation.
However, the degree does not confine the student to a future as a food scientist; it also offers doors to research, public health regulation, and technical auditing, to mention a few.
French universities, like Italian universities, charge modest prices. For example, at UPS, foreigners only have to pay EUR 4000 (about $4640) per year.
Scholarship opportunities and other financial aids
If you want to pursue a career in food science, you're probably keen to know something about scholarships and grants for food science undergraduates pursuing degrees in food science and technology. You may check several scholarships below, some of which are granted by foundations and others by food producers and specific colleges.
Feeding Tomorrow Scholarship Program
The Institute of Food Technologists has established a foundation called Feeding Tomorrow (IFT). The charity awards almost 100 scholarships to food science undergraduate and graduate students each year under the slogan "feeding the brains that feed the world." Scholarships are available for entering freshmen (high school students) as well as undergraduate students and those seeking MS and Ph.D. degrees in food science.
Dairy Management Inc. Scholarship
Every year, the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board provide up to 11 scholarships to meritorious undergraduate students. These $2,500 scholarships go to students pursuing a dairy-related area, such as food science, in their sophomore, junior, or senior year. The student must indicate a commitment to a dairy-related profession as one of the award requirements. The James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship, worth $3,500, will be given to one of the eleven scholarship recipients.
Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) Scholarship Awards
The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) grants three scholarships each year to budding undergraduate seniors majoring in food science:
- George M. Burditt Scholarship
- Betsy B. Woodward Scholarship
- Denise C. Rooney Scholarship
Each grant is worth $2,500 and is offered to students who aim to work in a variety of fields connected to food and drug safety, such as research and regulatory control. Applicants must hold a consistent GPA (i.e., 3.0 or higher) and present two letters of reference from teachers.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Scholarship
More scholarship money is awarded to food science and dietetics majors by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation than by any other organization in the United States. Students from all levels of higher education can apply for one or more of the Foundation's scholarships, which vary in value from $500 to $25,000 apiece. Depending on the sort of degree program candidates are enrolled in, additional qualifying conditions may apply.
Project SEED Scholarships
Since 1968, Project SEED (Summer Experiences for the Economically Disadvantaged), sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS), has provided summer internships for high school students interested in chemistry. In addition to work possibilities, the Project also provides scholarships to students pursuing chemistry-related degrees, including those in food science.
These financial assistance programs include $5,000 nonrenewable freshman scholarships as well as renewable $2,500-$5,000 scholarships. Scholarship eligibility requirements include current or previous participation in a Project SEED summer internship program, in addition to full-time enrollment at an authorized college or institution.
What else can you do with the degree?
With a degree as wide as food science, there are so many various career paths to choose from that it can be difficult to know which one is perfect for you. We've included some unconventional career options for food science grads below:
Let's start with one of the less well-known food scientist positions. If you enjoy dealing with animals and are concerned about their health and safety, you might want to try becoming an animal nutritionist with a degree in food science. These individuals work at zoos, veterinary clinics, and other places where animals in need of care, such as regular feedings, are housed.
These specialized nutritionists must be familiar with each animal's nutritional requirements as well as the sorts of food that those animals consume in the wild. Animal nutritionists also figure out how many calories each animal need based on their age and size, and make sure those animals get the finest nutrition possible.
If you're adept at analyzing and presenting potentially complex facts and concepts in a simple and instructive manner, you might want to consider becoming a nutritional therapist.
As a nutritional therapist, you'll usually work privately, assisting patients one-on-one by giving dietary recommendations tailored to their specific needs. This might be to help healthy people avoid getting sick, or to help sick people avoid getting sicker.
Chefs are ideal for people who enjoy a fast-paced, high-volume setting. Be aware that the hours might be lengthy and unsociable, but for those who enjoy cooking, this can be a very satisfying vocation.
And while a food degree isn't required for this position, it may be quite beneficial to develop knowledge of the sector. Experience is a must in this field, and whatever you can do to get your foot in the door will be beneficial.
Try to gain as much experience in the hospitality sector as possible, whether it's in waiting, dishwashing, or other areas. Being in the atmosphere may educate you a lot about the industry while also looking good on your resume!
A job in food marketing can be a good fit for people searching for a more creative profession.
Promoting involves many various parts of developing and sustaining a company's brand and image, as well as marketing new and current items on a specific selling point, whether you focus on packaging, social media, consumer research, or advertising.
Because you're dealing with perishable items that are sometimes depending on supplier circumstances and shifting customer trends, food marketing may be difficult. It is, however, a job that you may mold to your creative interests and a fantastic opportunity to put your degree skills to work in a little unique way.
Toxicologists investigate the effects of harmful compounds on humans, animals, and the environment. They investigate how different chemicals and biological substances affect food, air, water, and soil, as well as any hazards or potential adverse impacts.
A solid science-based background is required to become a toxicologist; there are many theories to test and lab reports to produce! You must also be a logical thinker with great written and vocal communication abilities, which you will have if you have a background in food science.
Food flavoring is one of the most fascinating areas of research within the subject of food science. A food flavorist, often known as a flavor chemist, is a sort of food scientist that examines the chemical makeup of foods in order to improve their flavor.
A food scientist's job is one of the most delectable. Flavorists are frequently employed by food processing and manufacturing businesses' "flavor houses." However, some taste chemists work at industry research centers.
While flavorists may appear to have a whimsical and entertaining job, they often have to complete a seven-year apprenticeship to become members of the Society of Flavor Chemists and then become formally employed in the field.