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What Does a Food Technologist Do?
Food Technology is the study of sciences related to food processing which involves preservation of fruits, sea food, meats, cooked foods, vegetables, juices and beverages and also the manufacture of confectionary, snacks, foodstuffs and the packaging of these for marketing.
Food technologists plan the manufacture of food and drink products and can work in a wide range of settings, including kitchens, factories, laboratories and offices. Consequently, specific responsibilities vary greatly but may include:
- Generating new product ideas and recipes
- Modifying and improving existing recipes
- Designing processes and machinery for the production of recipes on a large scale
- Liaising with marketing staff
- Ensuring that strict hygiene food safety standards are met
- Identifying and choosing products from suppliers
- Monitoring the use of additives
- Testing and examining samples
- Guiding the processing, conservation and preservation of food stuffs
- Creating new food stuffs, improving flavors and keeping the nutritive value intact
Employers of food technologists include food manufacturing and retail companies, universities, government organizations and specialist research associations/consultancies.
Career Opportunities in Food Technology (BSc)
The Bachelor study program in Food Technology (BSc) has a long history and an excellent reputation. The benefits continue when you graduate. There is no shortage of opportunities in the food business. With so many food producers, there are plenty of jobs for people whose knowledge of marketing and technology spans the sector’s wide range of specialties.
Graduates often qualify for positions as project managers, account managers, product developers, commercial technologists and customer-service directors. You could also work in processing and technology, become a production or quality manager, or even work at the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. The choice will be vast, as your studies will have prepared you for expertise in all of these areas. Depending on your chosen specialization, you will be able to work in one of the specialist fields described below.
1. Food Technology
Food technology specialists are in high demand. We all have to eat every day and make sure our diets are healthy and nutritious, which means better and healthier products will always be necessary. Immerse yourself in a food product as a product developer, or dedicate yourself to food production processes and technologies.
Quality managers make sure that a product reaches the consumer as fresh as possible and that it is properly checked to guarantee it is of standard quality. If your ambition is to lead a department or an entire food company, you will be pleased to know that a degree in food technology qualifies you to work as a production manager. As a commercially oriented technologist, you can advise large-scale buyers on ingredients and raw materials. Some food technologists end up working at research institutes or even at the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.
2. Processing Engineering
As a chemical technologist, the wold of process engineering is your oyster. As a product developer you can, for instance, co-develop a new cholesterol-lowering margarine. You can also work as a quality controller. If you work as a researcher, you can focus on new ingredients and processes, and the improvement of existing ones.
3. Food Innovation Management
The food sector is full of job opportunities. The specialization Food Innovation Managemetn focuses on the cutting edge of technology and commerce. You can specialize in commercial technology, packaging or product development.
The key task of the product developer is the development of new foods and the improvement of already existing foods. In managerial positions, you will be combining technology, communication and research. Some of our graduates now work as product managers and innovation managers.
4. Food Safety and Health
As a food safety and health expert, you can become a food safety manager. You are likely to start out as a junior food safety specialist working in the safety, health or quality department of a food company.
You will be the ‘spider in the web’ for food organizations, liking technology, communication and research. Whether you prefer multinational companies such as Unilever, Heineken and Heinz or small regional producers from your home country, the possibilities are almost limitless. Wherever you end up working, you will be challenged to develop your social, political and ethical skills to the fullest.
Employment Opportunities for Food Technologist
Food technologists plan recipes and manage their production on a large scale. They are responsible for the safe and efficient development, modification and manufacture of food products and processes. Employment opportunities exist in:
- Food industries
- Packaging industries
- Soft drink manufacturing firms
- Spice, cereal and rice mills
- Quality control organizations.