Relevant work experience is the key to a successful career in the increasingly competitive food technology industry
As a food technologist, it is your job to make sure food products are produced safely, legally and are of the quality claimed. You could be involved in developing the manufacturing processes and recipes of food and drink products and may work on existing and newly-discovered ingredients to invent new recipes and concepts.
Technologists modify foods to create products such as fat-free items and ready meals. You will often work closely with the product development teams to help deliver factory-ready recipes based on the development kitchen samples.
Some food technologists are involved in conducting experiments and producing sample products, as well as designing the processes and machinery for making products with a consistent flavour, colour and texture in large quantities. This must be done within a strict and ever-changing regulatory framework around the treatment of foodstuffs. For this reason, you are responsible for keeping up to date with relevant legislation.
The work may involve building relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as ensuring products are profitable.Responsibilities
The job can vary depending on the type of employer, the area of work, e.g. manufacturing, retail or public sector, and the area of specialism. However, tasks may include:
In food manufacturing, the work may also involve:
In retailing, additional tasks include:
In the public sector, the work can involve:
Higher salaries usually bring increased managerial responsibility.
You may be entitled to additional benefits, such as a performance-related bonus, private health plan, pension, company car (depending on the nature of the work) and ongoing professional development opportunities.
Income figures are intended as a guide only.Working hours
Working hours in the retail and public sector are usually 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, possibly with some extra hours. However, shift work is usual in the private sector (for example in factories) up until management level.
Shift work may sometimes be required when running production trials, where auditing hours are according to the site production times. You will need to be flexible but, where time is taken out of hours you will, in most cases, be given the time back.
Part-time work and flexible hours may be available.What to expect
You will benefit from having a food-related degree for entry into this area of work. The following subjects in particular are relevant:
Other relevant science subjects include physical, mathematical, life and medical science. In particular, subjects such as nutrition, microbiology and applied chemistry are helpful.
You can enter this profession with a relevant HND, although having a HND alone, without further study or experience, may restrict your career progression.
Entry without a degree or HND is sometimes possible but this will be at technician level. You may be able to move on to become a food technologist if you gain further qualifications and experience.
If you have an unrelated degree, postgraduate study in areas such as food quality management may significantly increase your chances of entry. Choosing a relevant dissertation in your final year will help to show your enthusiasm and commitment to the role. Search for postgraduate courses in food technology .
A list of universities that offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in, or related to, food technology is available from the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) - UK Universities .
You will need to show:
Try to gain as much practical experience as possible.
Work experience in the food manufacturing industry is advantageous. Apply for summer work as a laboratory technician or on the production line in food companies and make sure you network and make contacts while on placement.
Volunteering for projects also provides valuable experience. Technical experience in retail or manufacturing is also valued.Advertisement
Food technologists are employed by a range of companies and organisations within the food industry across both the public and private sectors.
Job roles and titles vary widely and there is considerable crossover between the sectors. Typical types of organisation and associated job roles in the main industry sectors include:
Look for job vacancies at:
Recruitment agencies commonly handle vacancies. Other useful sources of contacts for speculative applications are directories such as The Grocer Directory of Manufacturers & Suppliers .
Competition is strong for posts with well-known companies and for graduates with non-relevant degrees. Major companies start recruitment in the autumn/spring term of your final year. It is also worthwhile making speculative applications to companies. If you are flexible about location, it will be of benefit when looking for jobs.Professional development
Some major employers have graduate training schemes. If you have a degree in a different science discipline such as microbiology or biotechnology you will usually get additional training from your employer. Smaller employers may not have formal training schemes but will carry out on-the-job training.
There are various short courses that can be taken throughout your career in areas such as food hygiene or meat safety, or in a specific subject that relates to your role such as advanced baking. Other relevant courses include subjects in science and technology or sales and marketing. Courses may be paid for by employers.
Some food technologists choose to undertake full or part-time postgraduate study in a related area. Courses are offered in areas such as:
The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) has a continuing professional development (CPD) scheme, which helps food technologists to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. It gives advice on what can be included as CPD activities and how to plan and record them. For more details see IFST - CPD and Learning .
If you would like to move into food inspection (e.g. working in a local authority environmental health department), there are a number of courses that are accredited through the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) .
If you are interested in the food standards element of the work, you can find course information through the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) .Career prospects
In larger organisations, promotion is to more senior technologist posts with greater management responsibility for staff and resources, eventually leading to management posts with strategic responsibility for related areas. A typical career path might be:
Alternatively you could specialise in a particular area, such as quality or process management.
It is also possible for you to move to other business areas, such as technology, business development or sales, where specialist knowledge will be a real advantage.
While larger companies offer more opportunity for cross-functional moves, small and medium-sized companies generally offer greater responsibility earlier in your career and the chance to gain skills and experience across a range of business areas quickly.
To gain promotion or to increase salary level, you may find it necessary to move between employers. In some cases, this may require relocation.
The IFST provides a route for professional recognition as a Chartered Scientist (CSci) for appropriately qualified members. For full details see IFST - Chartered Scientist .
Written by AGCAS editors
Ensuring a supply of safe food which meets consumers’ expectations for quality is a demanding task for today’s manufacturing industry. Industry and governments need highly qualified staff who can combine a knowledge of the science and technology of food with an ability to apply and maintain advanced quality systems meeting international expectations. Our MSc Food Technology – Quality Assurance course is designed to meet this need.The course
Our MSc Food Technology – Quality Assurance course starts in late September each year and runs for 12 months. The taught modules for the course are spread over two eleven-week terms (late September – December and January – March). Examinations are in April/May and students then undertake an individual research project on a specialist topic. The project report has to be submitted in September to complete the course. Students graduate officially the following December.
The programme consists of 180 credits split into modules as follows:
(Please note that the programme above has been restructured for 2014-15 to group some 10 credit modules into larger 20 credit modules but the content remains the same. The modules may be subject to minor change from the above list)
Further details of each of the above modules can be found on the main University module description pages. See: http://www.reading.ac.uk/module/Student opinion
Here is comment from a Greek student (2013-14) taking this programme:
"I graduated from Veterinary Medicine of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and I wanted to continue my studies in order to acquire a MSc diploma in Food Technology. University of Reading has a very good reputation in Greece according to food sector so it was among my first choices. I also made an individual search and I found out that University of Reading is among the top ranks according to food studies. The whole course has been very interesting as I was introduced to a whole new range of things. The course included many assignments (individual and teamwork) which help me to understand better the purpose of the courses. The studying material was also very good and we have many support material in order to do our work. The course encouraged me to do further individual study which was fascinating and helped me to discover in depth the food technology and quality assurance. After the course I already got a job offer in a food company here in UK. I am very exciting to start and I feel that University of Reading help me in order to achieve this."
And another from a Ghanaian student:
"I have always had an interest to work within the Quality Department in food industries in order to contribute to product safety and quality, thus the choice of this course. Moreover having worked in the food industry prior to my application, I realised that the big food manufacturers prefer to recruit students from top universities such as Reading University. All these reasons influenced my choice of this university. So far I am very much impressed with the content of the course which is tailored to meet current requirements in the food industry. I have also appreciated the in-depth and up to date knowledge of the lecturers. I hope to work in the Safety and Quality Department in the food industry."Career prospects
There are many exciting challenges currently facing the food industry and the food technologists that it employs. Governments are also keen to ensure that national food control systems are effective in providing consumer protections using modern techniques (HACCP and risk analysis for example).
For current students
Graduate coursework in Food Science at UC Davis requires a background in mathematics and biological and physical sciences as listed below. Students with background deficiencies are encouraged to take as many of these courses as possible prior to their admission to the program. However, it is not necessary for prospective students, especially those coming from strong science programs, to have completed all of these courses before matriculating.
For guidance, the equivalent UC Davis course numbers are given in parentheses. More information on these courses is found in the UC Davis catalog.
Science Background Worksheets:
Preparatory courses for all students:
Chemistry. general chemistry lectures and laboratory, including quantitative analysis (CHE 2A, 2B, 2C); organic chemistry lectures with laboratory (CHE 118A, 118B, 118C); physical chemistry (CHE 107A, 107B).
Biochemistry. general biochemistry lectures (BIS 102, 103); biochemistry laboratory (MCB 120L or FST 123L)
Mathematics. analytical geometry and calculus (MAT 16A, 16B, 16C); statistics including analysis of variance (ASE 120)
Physics. one year of physics including laboratory (PHY 7A, 7B, 7C)
Microbiology. introductory microbiology (BIS 1A or MIC 102)
Nutrition. nutrition lectures (preferably human) (NUT 101 or 110)
A foreign language is not required
In addition, students planning to pursuing a Ph.D. degree would need the following preparatory courses:
Food Chemistry. principles of food composition and properties (FST 100A)
Food Process Engineering. physical principles in food processing (FST 110A)
Food Microbiology. food microbiology lectures (FST 104) and laboratory (FST 104L)
Think of it as feeding the big guys. The 200- to 300-pound linemen and tackles and defensive ends. Food fuels the body, and when is that more important than before spending three hours tackling, hitting, and running?
U.S. News chatted with registered dietitian Mitzi Dulan, who spent eight years as team nutritionist with the Kansas City Chiefs. She weighed in on what NFL players eat, which nutritional issues concern them, and what kind of super meal the Super Bowl might demand.
What do NFL players eat on a day-to-day basis?
It can vary a lot, even among the players on one team. You want to make sure that every single meal provides carbs -- ideally from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Carbs give muscles the energy they need to refuel and recover from a workout. Protein is also important, usually from sources like fish, chicken, lean beef or beans. It helps decrease muscle soreness and gives the players the staying power they need. I also make sure players are eating all the colors of the rainbow in fruits and veggies, since these help minimize the need for time off from sickness by boosting the immune system.
You're a big proponent of proper hydration. Why's that?
It's really important to stay hydrated all week, and not just think, 'It's Saturday night. I have a game tomorrow, so I better hydrate.' Sometimes on Monday nights, the players go out because they typically have Tuesday off. From an alcohol perspective, they need to make sure they're drinking plenty of water, too, because alcohol can have a dehydrating effect.
How about sports drinks? Are they a staple among athletes?
I recommend a full-strength Gatorade during workouts, practices, and games. It gives the players some sugar, so they're starting out with energy. If you're only drinking water, you're not getting any calories. Gatorade also provides necessary carbs, and delays fatigue. I've seen Super Bowls where players had to leave the field and get IV fluids at half-time, and it's almost always related to hydration. There's absolutely no reason a player should have to do that. When the weather's cooler, they sometimes think it's not important, but it is. Eating pretzels or another snack that provides a little sodium can also help. You're sweating so much that you don't need to worry about getting too much sodium.
What do players eat before hitting the field?
It depends on game time. The Chiefs played a lot of noon games, so they'd get up and have a big team breakfast, and then maybe some chicken breast closer to starting time. It's best to eat a big meal three hours before hitting the field. The players certainly want to fuel, and an ideal meal is high in protein, but doesn't have much fat, so it doesn't create any GI [gastrointestinal] issues. You don't want to try something for the very first time on Super Bowl Sunday and have a bad reaction. That's why teams often stick with the very same offerings for the pre-game meal, without switching it up.
Does the team eat a big meal together after the game?
It depends if they have to hop on an airplane right away. If they're in town and they want to get out of there, they might just leave and go out to dinner with their families. Different teams have different setups.
NFL players are often pretty big guys. Do they consume a lot of calories, especially since they're using so much energy?
One player may need 6,000 calories a day, while another only needs around 3,000. I worked with each athlete to help him achieve his goal weight. For example, if he didn't have enough energy in his legs, it was probably a carb issue, so we could make the necessary adjustments.
Were certain meals or types of food most popular among the players?
The Chiefs used to have sushi every Wednesday, and we always ran out really quickly. The players loved smoothies, too, and they also enjoyed Mexican food and Chinese from places like P.F. Chang's.
Was there room for dessert?
We were providing monster cookies at one point, and the guys loved them. As a dietitian, of course, I wouldn't recommend eating a monster cookie before you're getting ready to head out onto the field.
What else does an NFL nutritionist do? What were your sessions with players like?
I spent a lot of my time working one-on-one with the players, since their diets varied so much. I've also done team presentations, worked with wives and girlfriends, and taken players grocery shopping. My advice varies depending on whether it's a single player, or a player who's married and has someone cooking for him. I also worked with teams on what types of food to provide.
What kind of common questions did you hear from the players?
They wanted ideas for simple meals, like what they could make on a grill or how they could make easy smoothies at home. And if they were going out, what were the best options? I've had players text me from the Super Bowl, because they were out to eat and wanted to know if they should order pork, fish, or something else. Some of the guys were trying to lose body fat -- that was probably the most common question -- but sometimes they were trying to gain weight instead.
Did you recommend a vitamin or supplement for the players?
Yes, I would recommend some supplements. Most commonly: fish oil, a multivitamin with minerals, protein powder and creatine.
Food Processing and Technology Engineering branch is a promising one. Unlike the core branches of Engineering and other popular branches, Food Processing and Technology is not very popular among students who have passed 12th Science stream. But it is a good branch that offers decent opportunities and career prospects. In this article, we will be analyzing B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology course. We will cover topics such as- basic course details, important subjects present in B.E./B.Tech. program, scope and job opportunities after Graduation, eligibility criteria and salary details.
Let us start by dealing with basic course details first. Here are some important details about B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology that you need to know-
Find details about B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology course in this articleB.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology: Basic course details
The B.E./B.Tech. program that we are talking about is an Undergraduate Level Bachelor’s Degree program. The course duration is 4 years. This 4 years’ duration is divided into 8 semesters. with each semester lasting a period of 6 months .
In case of each new semester, new sets of subjects will be introduced. Some subjects may be recurring ones, appearing in more than one semester. Along with theory classes, some subjects will also have practical lab sessions associated with them. In case of first two semesters, common set of Engineering subjects are taught in class. A workshop subject is also present, which is practical based.
Now let us talk about Food Processing and Technology Branch. As the name suggests, this branch is all about Food production, processing, packaging, preservation and the use of technology and Engineering techniques in aiding the above mentioned stages present in the Food Processing Industry.
To make things simple, let us consider an example. Take fruits as an example. Food Processing and Technology deals with various stages such as- growing fruits (use of scientific techniques, chemicals etc), harvesting it (using modern machinery and techniques), its storage, usage of preservatives to prevent it from going bad, processing fruits to make other edible items in processing plants (jams, juice, pulp etc), packaging fruits and products made from them, transporting edible items and fruits from one place to another etc.
So, this branch of Engineering covers number of stages right from production to transportation! Also, this branch has Research and Development area, which deals with topics such as- artificial food, artificial edible items, nutrition science, Chemistry (Chemical Engineering ) etc.
This Engineering Branch contains elements of Biology, Technology, Chemistry, Food Science and Food Nutrition.
Want to know more about the nature of B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology course? Maybe you should check out the important subjects that are present in this course. The next section will help you out-B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology: Important subjects
As mentioned before, in case of first two semesters, common set of Engineering subjects are taught. Workshop class is also present. Here are those subjects-
From third semester onward, subjects focusing more on Food Processing and Technology field will be introduced. Here are some of those subjects-
Those were some important subjects present in B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology program. Some of the above mentioned subjects are recurring ones. Also, elective subjects are also present in case of some semesters.
Subjects like Engineering Mathematics and Food Engineering are recurring ones.
The last two semesters have project work involved in them. It is evident from the above list of subjects that Food Processing and Technology branch has got elements of- Technology, Biology, Chemistry, Food Science and Nutrition Science.
Now that we have seen the list of important subjects, let us take a look at the eligibility criteria that has to be satisfied be able to pursue B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology.Eligibility Criteria
To pursue this course, a student must have passed 12th Science stream schooling with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics subjects from a recognized board. To take part in the professional courses’ admission process, a student must also have appeared for State and/or National level entrance examination.Courses to pursue after B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology course
After Graduation, students may go for M.E./M.Tech. program, which lasts 2 years. Going for M.Sc. program is another option that is available in front of Graduates. Using these courses, one may specialize in fields such as- Dairy Technology, Food Packaging, Food Transportation, Food Storage Engineering etc.
Going for management courses such as- M.B.A. and B.M.S. is also something that Graduates may try.Scope, Salary and Job opportunities after Graduation
Ample amounts of job opportunities are available in front of Graduates in Government as well as Private sectors. Competition for job posts is less, since there are relatively lesser number of Colleges offering this course and thus lesser number of students pursuing it. Thus, landing a good job is relatively easy, when it comes to Food Processing and Technology field.
Talking about Government sector, the Department of Food and Public Distribution is a well known recruiter. Within that Government agency, posts like Food Inspector, Quality Assurance Officers etc are available. State sponsored Food processing plants also are known to hire graduates.
The Private sector chips in with much more opportunities. Private Food Production firms, Processing plants, Storage and Preservation firms etc are known to recruit Graduates. Firms manufacturing Food Processing equipment and machinery also recruit graduates. Average starting salary varies, depending upon the nature of the job (Government, Private or own venture). On an average, it is between 2.5-4 Lakh Rupees per year.
Salary specs overview
Government Job- fixed salary band, depending upon the Officer class and grade. Private job- average 2.5-4 Lakh Rupees per year. Own venture- not fixed.
Some well known job posts available in front of B.E./B.Tech. Food Processing and Technology graduates are-
Pursuing PG courses will open door that leads to other promising career. For example, doing M.E./M.Tech. program will help one become a Lecturer. Doing PhD program will help one enter the lucrative Research and Development sector associated with Food Processing and Technology field!