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Be a food technologist

Tasty treat: Food specialists in the making. Photo: V. Raju  

Food processing is a section of food science. It involves research on improving proficiency for altering raw components into food fit for consumption. The growing consumerism in developed and developing countries has added to the rise of food processing industries.Currently, the food processing business in India has been acquiring impulse as the consumer’s food industry. Five hundred food parks are expected to come up across the country. This will promote the emergence and growth of food processing industries and will generate huge employment opportunities. The food processing business is coming of age and is placed fifth among industries in India.

Even though food technology is a versatile field, one has to face various challenges on a day-to-day basis. Ensuring the growth of a new product which tastes good, is of superior quality, and, at the same time, cost efficient, is a tough task. New food laws have allowed the use of some ingredients in functional foods that help diminish the threat of certain ailments such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. These changes have to be integrated into the product without disturbing its taste. Another challenge is that new global food products are coming into the market due to which the local products are struggling to compete.

A proper SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threats) analysis is required before opting for a career in food processing industry. It is essential to evaluate whether you are ready to work in this challenging field which is still at a budding stage, but has a bright future.

Analyse the work environment in the food processing sector before deciding to join. It can involve activities such as clean-up of the raw material, blanching, chopping, cooking of food items, crushing, mixing, adding preservatives, final covering, and so on.

Skills required
Attractive career opportunities are available for those who have technological qualification in food processing. However, tips notch firms look for specific qualities while hiring. Some tips to get hired in this industry are as follows.

An early start to study food processing is important. Students should start preparing for the various entrance exams as soon as they complete class XII.

Those who are meticulous, hygiene-focused, careful, hardworking, and possess organisational skills can gain an edge over other candidates.

There is no substitute for technological acumen in food processing. Therefore, candidates possessing excellent domain knowledge always have better work opportunities.

People interested in working in the food technology field can obtain an associate's degree in applied science in food technology. But graduate or higher degrees may be essential for some places. Students can choose to supplement their education with logical and math classes to get better jobs. Some positions, such as a food inspector, might involve certification, while others might only necessitate a two-year degree and work understanding. Candidates with a postgraduate degree or doctorate can work at universities, government or research firms.

Career options
Food research specialist: This involves overseeing trials on food products and may include checking components things such as preservatives, colour, nutritious value and surface of the food.

A food research expert may also work thoroughly with the rules set out by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These specialists work in a lab and might be part of a superior team of food technology experts.

Food inspector: Also called a value control examiner, a food inspector makes sure that the products coming from industrial lines or wrapping do not have harmful substances that might cause side effects or diseases. Food examiners may run investigations on packaging or the food itself.

These specialists also monitor particular guidelines fixed by the FDA to maintain the health and safety of customers.

Food product enlargement director: Food product enlargement directors, also recognised as food scientists, work to grow new food products and habits to bundle or uphold food. Occasionally, these specialists determine completely new food causes or control correct amounts of fats, vitamins and food additives. Food product designers work thoroughly with the FDA's rules that define everything from new canning methods to enhancing food waste management.

There is a huge demand for candidates with specialisation in food processing technology in organisations based in the U.S. and Europe.

Students from India possessing the necessary skills can get attractive jobs in these countries.

Food technology specialists can work at public and private divisions in numerous positions such as food packaging manager, associate manager, food scientist, production manager, research and development personnel, food expansion manager, quality control officer, food care examiner and food stylist.

A fresher can expect a salary package between Rs. 4 lakh and Rs. 6 lakh per year. People with work experience can get remuneration in the range of Rs. 8 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh per year.

The writer is vice president, Global Growth, Zomato.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2021 11:51:43 PM |

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