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The food industry is one of the largest industries in the world, employing scores of people across various verticals. However, it is a common misconception that only chefs or people in the hospitality industry work with food. Food technology is one of the most lucrative career options for people who love food and have a knack for science. Before we move on to colleges and courses you can consider, let us look at what the field of food science entails?
What is Food Technology?
Food Science and technology is a stream of scientific studies that deals with the processing and preservation of food substances. It also deals with the production, quality assessment, labeling, and distribution of different kinds of food. The most important aspect of this field is food processing since there is a high demand for food that is nutritious and has a long shelf life.
It is a research-oriented field and there are multiple areas of specialization for students to choose from. Food science combines various disciplines like chemical engineering, biochemistry, and biology to understand food processes and create better products. As a food technologist, you will use principles of chemistry, engineering, microbiology as well as agricultural science.
Food products are one of the most popular and fast-selling consumer goods. Therefore companies are looking to hire professionals who have a keen understanding of nutrition along with research skills to deliver the best product in the market. Every big brand of food products employs experienced food technologists to aid them in the research and development process. You can get jobs in food processing companies, food mills, food packaging industries, food research laboratories, and commercial kitchens.
With an education in food science and technology, you can take on roles like-
- Food technologist – These professionals are involved primarily with the development of the manufacturing process of food and drink items. They ensure that the products are produced legally, safely and abide by the quality standards.
- Toxicologist – They study the impact of radiation and toxic materials on human and animal health.
- Nutritional therapist – They advise individuals in terms of diet and nutritional requirements to prevent ailments and restore balance in the body.
- Technical Brewer – These professionals are involved with the process of brewing and packaging beer. Their job is to ensure the quality and consistency of the product.
- Animal nutritionist – They work to study and increase the effect of diet on the well-being of animals.
- Process development scientist – They optimize manufacturing systems of food products to increase quality and yield.
As mentioned above, the profile of a food technologist includes the research and development of a food product, maintaining quality control, and safe production of the food products. Here are some essential skills required to be a food technologist:
- An interest in food
- Research skills
- Scientific reasoning and analysis
- A sound understanding of health and nutrition
- An awareness about consumer preferences
- Technical expertise
- Problem-solving abilities
- Good time management and the ability to work under pressure
Eligibility Criteria for courses
Food technology courses are available across all levels of specialization but here are some criteria you need to fulfill to be eligible:
- You need to have science as the main subject group in high school with a minimum of 50%-60% marks in your final exams
- Your science subjects should include physics, chemistry, and biology. Some colleges also require mathematics as a mandatory subject.
- The minimum age for a bachelor’s course in food science is 17 years.
Top universities in the world to study food technology
- Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (India)
- Cornell University (U.S.A.)
- University of British Columbia (Canada)
- University of Sydney (Australia)
- National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (India)
- The University of Edinburgh (Scotland)
- Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
- RMIT University (Australia)
- A career in food is not only restricted to the hospitality industry.
- Food technology is a lucrative career option.
- Major food companies, packaging industries, beverage companies and commercial kitchens actively hire food technology graduates.
- You need Science as your 10+2 subject to pursue a food technology course for your undergraduate degree.
- You can do further studies for a postgraduate degree and a PhD in food technology once you complete your undergraduate course.
1. What is the average salary of a food technologist?
As a food technologist, one can earn approximately $50,800 per year as a starting salary in the U.S. The salary can go up to approximately $92,000 with experience.
2. Who are some of the top recruiters of food technology students in India?
Some of the top recruiters of food technology students in India are:
- Hindustan Unilever Limited
- ITC Limited
- MTR Foods
3. What is quality assessment and control in the food industry?
Quality assessment and control are a crucial part of the food industry. In food manufacturing plants, it is essential that the quality of products be maintained since they can harm the consumers if the quality is not up to the mark.
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