What is Food Science Technology?

Britt Archer

It may seem odd to think of food as a scientific application, but food science technology plays a very big role in most of the foods people buy from the supermarket. Food science is primarily used to create new ways of storing food and keeping an adequate food supply. Examples of things food scientists have done using food science technology are frozen and canned food, as well as microwavable meals. Food sciences allow consumers access to foods that are not native to their regions, giving them a wider array of foods to choose from, as well as a variety of options for storing those foods. Another consideration of food science technology is, overall, making foods healthier for consumers.

Food scientists perform research in laboratories.
Food scientists perform research in laboratories.

A food scientist needs to take into account the biological and chemical makeup of foods, as well as individual characteristics and safety guidelines. These details allow a food scientist to come up with creative solutions in synthesizing food science technology breakthroughs with improvements in existing ones. Food science specialists are constantly researching different types of food, ways of storing food, shipping food and making food appealing to the consumer as well as cost-effective. Food science technology is a field that utilizes microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry and agricultural engineering. It is recommended that people who want to pursue a job in food science have a background in one of these fields.

Much of food science involves studying the chemistry and microbiology processes of various foods.
Much of food science involves studying the chemistry and microbiology processes of various foods.

Food science technology has different branches. Some food science specialists work closely with marketing and restaurants to improve the taste and allure of products, while some work with shipping companies to work out solutions for how to ship fresh produce around the world. Food science specialists may work with the government as well, figuring out sustainable crops to feed a nation. Education programs are available through some professional organizations, allowing the general public to learn about food science and the responsibilities and varieties of food science jobs.

Food science is a broad field that studies things like food composition, process, safety, nutrition, and consumption.
Food science is a broad field that studies things like food composition, process, safety, nutrition, and consumption.

Food scientist jobs are abundant, as there is an increasing need for creative food solutions in many parts of the world. Depending upon location, educational requirements vary. A background in science is recommended, and a four-year or more degree in food science technology or a related field may be a requirement for some jobs. A handful of universities in the United States offer food science technology as a major, with many international universities offering the major as well. Food science technology specialists often work with major companies, and there is almost always a job opening in one or more of them, so job prospects for graduates of these programs are optimistic.

Canned food was in invention developed by food scientists.
Canned food was in invention developed by food scientists.

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