The Flavour Gurus: Exploring Career as a Food Scientist

Apart from being associated with food production, a food scientist's career involves various responsibilities. If you are planning to take your career as a food scientist, read this blog and know that all things are required to make a successful career as a food scientist.

'KFC launches all-new Chizza, a combination of Crispy Chicken and Cheesy Pizza with all chicken, no crust!'

'New Domino's Burger Pizza. It only looks like a burger but it tastes more like a pizza.

Do ads like these ever make you wonder about the people who came up with such wacky yet interesting combos? When potato chips were invented nobody imagined that someday we would have a Chicken & Waffle flavour of it. Presently, the world has over 160 varieties of chips of which you might have relished just six or seven. Our parents had homemade curd, only, quite contrary to the current line of flavoured yoghurts, which are low in fat and healthier than their ancestral counterparts.

A long journey from the fields to the refrigerators and microwaves; food has evolved enormously over the centuries. From 'health' being the prime concern to 'time' being the major crunch, food evolutionists had innumerable factors to work upon. Today, from organic cotton candies and a fleet of flavoured health drinks to fried chicken momos and tangy fish fingers, food is available in sealed and ready-to-eat packages for easy and consumption.

While packaged food comes in handy, it does not go to say that food enthusiasts would have anything that's convenient and easily available. The current brigade is increasingly conscious about its food intake, refusing to compromise on variety, taste, health or value. This process of procuring food in its raw form and making it edible while retaining its nutritional value requires extensive knowledge and training. So, who does this job of exploring/discovering innovative food combos that cater to the taste buds of gastronomes?

The minds working behind our current line of delectable edibles are Food Scientists. Popular as the Flavour Gurus, food scientists study the physical, chemical and biological nature of food and improve their quality via food processing. And, this while ensuring optimum use of resources and minimal wastage. Food products, specifically the packaged ones colourfully lined across supermarkets, are the brainchild of food scientists, food technologists or food engineers. These professionals take care of the selection, manufacturing, processing, treatment, preservation, packaging and distribution of food in various forms.

A Career in Food Science and Technology

If Science is the subject you love and food your sinful passion, this is the career for you. A career in food science & technology is as fascinating as it sounds and far more flourishing than the conventional belief of it being just a course for Chefs or Food Inspectors. Food engineering involves a string of specifications, majorly 'reinventing' it while enhancing its taste, validity and nutritional values. The profession includes conducting experiments and clinical trials to create food and preservatives that are safe for consumption while developing better food-processing techniques for higher quality. Its this sect of experts who are responsible for making food tasty and nutritious while ensuring innovative packaging.

Why Choose this Career?

One of the largest industries in the world, food shall never go out of demand since people aren't stopping eating anytime soon. Be it sky-high prices or serious recession, food commerce will be flourishing at all times. A surge in food options and increasing demand for processed food that's healthy and nutritious, has opened several opportunities for professionals in these areas. A caterer of both national and international consumers, the Indian food industry is in dire need of food technology professionals, a dearth of which has had us invite externals to fit the role.

Top Colleges

Some of the most popular colleges offering courses in food technology include CFTRI, Mysore; NIFTEM, Haryana; IICPT, Thanjavur; IIT, Kharagpur; UDCT, Mumbai; HBTI, Kanpur and Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Private universities offering undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the above domain include Karunya University, Coimbatore; SRM University, Chennai; Amity University, Noida; AKS University, Satna and Lovely Professional University (LPU), Ludhiana.

Career Options

A diploma, certification or B.Tech/B.Sc/Masters degree can be acquired in Food Science, Food Processing & Technology, Food and Nutrition, Food Preservation or Biotechnology to pursue a career in the above verticals. Career opportunities open for aspiring professionals are as follows: Food Technologist, Nutritionist/Nutritional Therapist, Product/Process Development Scientist, Quality Manager, Technical Brewer, Production/Purchasing Manager, Research scientist, Toxicologist among others.

Popular Sectors for Employment

  • Food Manufacturing & Processing

  • FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods)

  • Pharma-Biotech

  • Agro-Biotech

  • Dairy Firms

  • Poultry Firms

  • Bakeries & Confectionaries

  • Breweries

  • Retailers

  • Healthcare

  • Academia & Research Institutes

  • Food Packaging

Monetary Compensation

Remuneration of a food scientist/technologist depends on his/her educational qualification, work experience, skills & contribution in the Food processing industry. Freshers can earn a salary between INR 2.5 lakhs - 3 lakhs per annum while profound experience in the field can earn you around INR 4 lakhs - 5.5 lakhs per year.

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