What is Food Science?
Food science is a branch of applied science that uses scientific and engineering principles to aid in research, development, production technology, packaging, processing, quality control and utilization in terms of food. Food scientists use their knowledge in chemistry, engineering, and other science to study and understand food. They are the ones who analyze the nutritional values of our food. Furthermore, they also discover new food sources and increase ways of keeping our food safe and healthy.
Average Annual Salary of Food Scientist
The average yearly salary of those in the Food Scientist profession is $68,955, according to Salary.com. At least 50% of all food scientist professionals have an annual salary below the average. The annual salary falls between $55,226 – $83,955 depending on the years of experience and other deciding factors. Those with a graduate degree in Food Science make an average of $64,447 to $72,313.
The median annual wage for agricultural and food scientists was $62,920 in May 2016 and Number of Jobs in 2016 was 43,000 as per Bureau of labor.
What do Food Scientists do?
As mentioned earlier, food scientists use scientific research and methods to analyze food for consumption. They are the ones responsible for providing policies to make sure that the packaged foods we eat are safe and healthy. Here are some of the responsibilities a food scientist would have to work with:
- Evaluate nutritional value, color, flavor, and texture of food
- Test food samples for harmful organisms like molds, yeast, and bacteria
- Ensure food manufacturing processes are within proper standards
- Explore options in the manufacturing processes of foods
- Produce new food products that are safe for consumption
- Work closely with other food production staff
- Establish cost-effective production methods
- Investigate and create standards of manufacturing safety and quality
The typical employers of food scientist are food manufacturers and retail companies. However, there have been some to go work for universities as professors, government organizations, and research specialist associations.
What are the Food Scientist Jobs?
Food scientists also work hand-in-hand with food technicians. The former focuses on improving agricultural output, while the latter implements the improvements needed. They usually work in laboratories where research on a molecular level can be conducted. There are different careers where food science degree holders can go. A majority of them work for companies and universities to conduct research. Some also go into the manufacturing industries related to food production.
As a food science degree holder, the students can go on to work as:
- Food Retailers
- Food Wholesalers
- Food Technologists
- Food Researchers
- Food Inspectors
- Food Engineers
- Food Packaging Experts
In 2015, there were at least 36,000+ people employed in Agricultural and Food Science related jobs. The work available for this is expected to grow by at least 5% in the next seven years or so. Food scientists can also work at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) where there is a large community of international researchers. This group continually engage in improving food sources and other food-related process and inspection.
Job of Food Science Specialist
Agricultural and food scientists research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of agricultural establishments and products.
Agricultural and food scientists typically do the following:
- Conduct research and experiments to improve the productivity and sustainability of field crops and farm animals
- Create new food products and develop new and better ways to process, package, and deliver them
- Study the composition of soil as it relates to plant growth, and research ways to improve it
- Communicate research findings to the scientific community, food producers, and the public
- Travel between facilities to oversee the implementation of new projects
Is Getting a Graduate Degree in Food Science Right For Me?
There are a lot of tests and quizzes available online they can take to know whether or not become a food scientist. However, there are other things that those tests don’t provide which is information on what they can expect to do when the students’ become a food scientist or a food technician. First of all, they would need to understand the importance of food science and nutrition. Professionals in this field are committed to ensuring that our society has a safe and abundant supply of food. They provide a way for people to be healthier. So, in the food production business, food scientists are needed to use their technical and analytical skills with different scientific methods in order to provide safe production of food for consumption.
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