Studies & Degrees in Food Sciences and Technology
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Food Sciences and Technology Study Programs
Food science and technology is involved with the study of the processing, packaging, selection, preservation, and distribution of food. Food scientists spend a great part of their careers studying the chemical, microbiological, and physical aspects of food. They make sure that all hygienic conditions are met during the processing, storage and packaging of food. Furthermore, food technicians develop new products and explore various techniques of producing and maintaining the quality of these foods. They also examine raw ingredients and processed food for their nutritional value and microbiological quality. Finally, technicians and scientists in the food field check foods for color, taste, and flavor, developing quality control procedures and analyzing results and experimental data.
- Enjoy food and examining food’s ingredients
- Aptitude for research and other scientific activities
- Be very accurate and have great attention to detail
- Have great observation skills
- Work well as a part of a team
- Have good physical health
Food Science and Technology degrees are offered at numerous universities and in various forms, at the undergraduate level as well as many postgraduate options – most students in this area decide to continue their education after they have gained a bachelor’s degree. The course you choose is most likely to be a multidisciplinary one, involving application of the basic sciences (chemistry, nutrition, engineering and microbiology) and the latest developments in the handling, processing and packaging of foods from the farm to the consumer's plate. The degree should be a good mix of lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, industry site visits and research projects in order to ensure that you gain considerable knowledge and hands-on experience in the field of food science. Overall, the institution has to have a good tradition in sciences and an innovative approach to research and technology.
Food scientists have various employment options, and these include universities, industries that are concerned with food processing, and some government organizations. One can become a technician in agro-food companies and industries or in public organisms related to different aspects of food, such as analysis and quality control of foods; economic management and markets; Food Safety and Hygiene; food legislation, documentation and normalization; raw material, ingredients and food additives; post-processing operations and processing systems in the industry; dietetics and human nutrition.
As a food scientist, you can also decide to specialize: plant scientists study the ways that industrial plants can prevent food contamination; crop scientists study how food is grown, while soil scientists pay attention to the soil that food is grown in. Finally, animal scientists observe safer methods for processing all foods that come from animals. All of these professions can be considered part of Food Sciences and Technology, as they study food in one form or another.