What to do with a degree in food science
WITH THE INDUSTRY GAINING MOMENTUM, THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOOD TECHIES
Catering to both national and international consumers, the Indian food industry has always had a high demand for food technology professionals. Food technology as a subject is an amalgamation of biological sciences, chemistry, physics and engineering. It demands students to be highly innovative, application oriented and have a grasp of the wide spectrum of all its principles. Every food product we see in stores has a food technologist supporting its presence. Here are six industries food specialists can look at.
Handling food crops from the point of harvest and going through primary processing has been done for centuries by man. However, the advanced efforts of getting optimum output with best processes while retaining the nutrients, enhancing the shelf life and improving farmer income is done by food technologists. Farmer producer organisations run by food technologists have potential for excellent returns and growth.
Processed food industry
Jobs pertaining to product development and quality management are done by food technologists. A myriad of ingredients are crafted into products and given a longer shelf life with detailed studies on food functionalities, packaging and stability studies. Food technologists handle factory production in large, medium and small-scale industries. They fit into both scientific and managerial roles.
Research and development
Both ready-to-eat variants and advanced products are being developed at a rapid pace. National research laboratories and industrial research laboratories offer opportunities for food technologists who have innovative approach to meet the needs of the consumers.
Food testing laboratories are being established by private players; this vertical of business has attracted international investors. With the burgeoning food industry, the need for food testing laboratories has been increasing. Specific short-term courses and diploma courses in food analysis are available in various institutes.
Teaching in institutes offering the subject and engaging in training programmes for skill development are available to professionals, as well as the potential to become faculty. With institutes offering food technology as a subject, teaching as a career is on the rise.
Enterprises, big or small, will do well if run by a trained food technologist. The best company a food technologist can work for, is his own. With the government investing in incubation facilities, entrepreneurship is a vocation for the food technologist.
RAM RAJASEKHARAN DIRECTOR, CENTRAL FOOD TECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (CFTRI), DELHI