Food science careers provide a wealth of opportunities to work with a wide range of people and have a direct impact on their lives. There are three types of food science careers: product developer, researcher, and instructor. Food science is a recognized life science discipline, focused on all the stages of food production. It is important to note that a nutritionist is not a food scientist, but is instead focused on the impact of food in the human body.
In order to qualify for any of the different food science careers, all candidates must have successfully completed a university degree in food science. The courses required in this discipline include organic chemistry, plant biology, botany, genetics, agriculture, and economics. A position in this field can be found in food production firms, university laboratories, and research institutes.
One of the most popular food science careers is product developer. He or she is hired by a food production firm to either create a new product or enhance an existing one. Although the public is generally opposed to modified food, packaged food has been modified to increase shelf life and improve flavor or color. A great example of food science in action is packaged bread. When making bread at home, the ingredients are simple, common staples. However, the list of ingredients for any packaged bread includes a list of chemicals, compounds, and additives.
These changes are necessary to provide a quality product to customers, giving allowances for the time required to prepare and ship these goods from the factory to the store. Extending the shelf life of a product is essential to providing a variety of food products at low enough prices that most people can afford to purchase them. It also reduces the risk of food-borne diseases, mold, bacteria, or other infestations that can be harmful to people.
A food science researcher investigates or creates new ways of increasing crop yield and fighting diseases and bacteria that can infect different food sources. He or she is typically focused on the process used to grow the food product. It is important to note that food scientists look at all food, ranging from crops to fish.
Many universities and colleges employ food scientists to teach classes in biology, food science, culinary arts, and agriculture. A solid understanding of how products enter the food chain, what the risks are, and how they are managed is essential for anyone who plans to work in the food industry. Take the time to explore the different career options and find one that is of interest to you.