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So You Wanna Be a Food Technologist

by on March 14, 2015 | Top Stories

The job of a food technologist

Food technologists are also known as food scientists. They strive to improve the quality of food products in terms of production, content and taste while maintaining stringent food hygiene and safety standards according to industry and government regulations.

Those who are working in the manufacturing processes of food products will see to how food is selected, preserved, packaged, stored and distributed. They may be involved in developing more efficient production operations, evaluating quality control procedures and dealing with suppliers for raw materials and ingredients.

Food technologists, who are not involved in manufacturing processes, work on modifying existing recipes of food and drink, developing new ones, finding new food sources and inventing new food concepts. Some of their tasks include conducting experiments and producing sample products to meet current consumer trends.

Is this job for you?

If you have a special interest in food production and preparation, plus you have strong analytical skills, you are likely suited for the job.

The interest code for this career is IRC (Investigative, Realistic, Conventional).

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work styles

Food Technologist There are certain work styles that are essential attributes for food technologists. One of them is having a cooperative attitude. It is important for food technologists to be able to work well in a team with other food science professionals and seeking cooperation with other staff such as plant operators, marketing specialists and production engineers.

Having good communication skills is another vital attribute. This would enable food technologists to explain ideas clearly to other scientists and factory staff, as well as making effective presentations of test results and reports. As the job of food technologists requires creativity to develop new ideas and critical thinking to come up with solutions to work-related issues and problems, innovation is another key work style.

Integrity helps food technologists to perform their job in an ethical manner, ensuring regulations are met and standards of quality are being upheld. Being dependable and having initiative are key characteristics that help food technologists to fulfil their duties responsibly and to be willing to take on the challenges of the job.

Work values

As food technologists are results oriented, they value achievements and accomplishments, especially when given the opportunity to use their strongest abilities. They value recognition, thus advancement and potential for leadership are important to them. Having a work environment with supportive management is another value that they seek.

Work environment

Generally food technologists work in offices and laboratories. However, their work environment depends largely on the type of area or sector they are employed. Those who are working for food manufacturers spend much of their time in the production facilities while those who are working in the private sector may work in test kitchens to develop new ways to process food.

Their working hours are generally routine, regular hours. Those who are working in a production facility that operates 24 hours may have to work shifts.

Places of Employment

Most food technologists work at food and beverage manufacturing companies. Other employers of food technologists include government and private institutions, and specialist research consultancies.

Job Entry Requirement

Aspiring food technologists require a bachelor's degree in food science or food technology to enter the field.

Education and Training Qualifications:

  1. Diploma in Food Science
  2. Bachelor's degree in Food Science
  3. Master's degree and Master's degree and PhD in Food Science
  4. Bachelor's degree in Food Technology
  5. Master's degree and Master's degree and PhD in Food Technology

Find out where you can pursue a degree at bachelor, master or doctoral level in food technology on our website .

Watch this video to find out more all about food science.

What does a food technologist do? Watch this video to find out more.


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