One of the most essential commodities in life for a human being is food and every item of food has been grown or produced with the skills of a food scientist or technologist behind it. Therefore, the role of a food scientist is of great significance and that is why today there is such a high demand for people having taken up careers in Food Science. The procedures involving the development and production of food, the processing and packaging of food, and finally distribution of food are a huge industry where thousands of highly skilled and qualified people are employed in order to be able to feed the world.
To become a food scientist or a technologist, the planning should be started at an early age at the +2 or higher secondary level. You need to consider taking up Science stream and then take up Food technology or Food science at the under graduation level, which may be either a 4 –year Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or a three year Bachelors Science degree in Food Science or technology. This is the minimum requirement to land a job in the field of food science or technology. You can further your career prospects with a Masters in Food Science and a PhD in a specialized area of study in the subject. Specialized Diploma Courses are also available.
From the development of food, to its safety there are many branches that need highly skilled personnel. Some of the basic skills include:
- Basically, the food scientist must understand the various features of a every item of food and its health benefits.
- Understanding of the procedures involved in food processing
- Skills that include planning, organizational procedures and problem solving.
- Precision and accuracy in work focusing on detail including high observation skills
- Knowledge of the subject area.
- Ability to read and understand results got after the testing process of food.
- High level of communication and interaction skills
- Skills in team leadership, team building and working in a team.
Besides the academic qualifications a hands on experience in the food industry is a great benefit as the options for jobs increase and you also get to identify the niche in which you would like to develop your expertise.
Since there are many areas that comprise the food industry, there are many roles and responsibilities that are adopted by the food scientist. Few of them include:
- Developing and processing of food
- Following safety guidelines in the processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution of food.
- Marketing and sales
- Collection of raw materials
Being such an extensive field of work, there are many traditional and modern jobs that are now available in the food industry. Therefore the job prospects are very high in the industry.
A very high salary awaits the job seeker in the food industry and depending on the role of the person the salary differs.