What is Food Science and Techonology
Food Science is the discipline in which biology, physical sciences, and engineering are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of their deterioration, and to better understand the concepts underlying food processing. Drawing on the fields of biology, microbiology, chemistry and engineering, food scientists look for better ways to select, preserve, process, package and distribute food products. According to the World of Science, food scientists analyze food content to determine the amounts of vitamins, sugars, proteins and fat.
They examine the sensory, physical, microbiological and chemical properties of food. Food Scientists apply the results of their investigations to develop new processing strategies, packaging methods and discover new possible food sources. The outline of food scientists’ scope includes research, development, quality assurance, processing and regulatory.
According to the Institute of Food Technologists, food technology is a scientific field that applies food science principles to the choosing, manufacturing, processing, preservation, packaging and allocation of food that is safe for consumers.
The food technologist, as distinct from food scientist, is more concerned with the practical operation of food processing equipment and carrying out processes. The primary role of a food technologist is to check the raw materials, maintain clean and hygienic conditions and quality of the food, examine the food, conduct checks for contamination and adulteration and certify the nutritional value of food. The food technologist should devise improved techniques for processing, conservation and preservation of food items as well as analyzing the current consumer trends and latest technologies to develop new product ideas.
Areas of study a food scientist and technologist may include the chemistry, analysis, microbiology, engineering, nutrition and processing of foods. Most food scientists also need a basic understanding of business principles. The duration of study is four years. The food scientist and technologist may specialize in food engineering, food microbiology, food laws and regulations, food packaging, quality assurance, nutrition, sensory evaluation, biotechnology, safety evaluation, food service, fruit and vegetable products, dairy, meat and seafood processed foods, refrigerated and frozen foods, toxicology and others.
Food Science and Technology course offers ample job opportunities in various areas. Graduates of Food Science and Technology have excellent employment prospects in both public and private sectors.
Goverment Sector : Nutritionist, Researchers
- Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development (MARDI), Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Malaysia Cocoa Board (LKM), Research Institutions (e.g MARDI, SIRIM, Universities), Ministry of Health.
- Nestle, Kellogs, Cadbury, Uniliver, Dumex, Ajinomoto, Dewina Food, Yeo Hiap Seng, Ace Canning Corporation, Ramly Burger, Adabi Consumer Industry, Sri Nona Foods, Saujana Fruitech, Q-Pack, Boh Plantations, Barkath Co-Ro Manufacturing, Premier Frozen Desserts, Scan Dairy and Food, Soon Soon Group of Companies, Swee Eng Foodstuff, Danisco Cultor, Hwa Tai Industries,
- Private Sector : Quality control officers
Graduates have an understanding of the diverse nature of food systems, in-depth knowledge of food processing techniques coupled with a strong understanding of food usage, storage and management. They are well qualified to work in many lucrative areas of the food-related sectors such as:
- Quality control or Quality assurance managers, Production supervisors, Food engineers, Food product development technologists, Food packaging managers, Food microbiologists, Flavor chemists, Sensory scientist, Food safety inspectors, Registered dieticians, Food service operations managers, Researchers in universities and hospitals, Public health educators, Journalists in food areas, Sales managers in food service businesses, Entrepreneurs, and Lecturers.
Education prerequisites and traits of a Food Science and Technology graduate
a) B.S. or B.Tech Degree in Food Science or Food Technology (or other technical degree).
b) A scientific bend of mind; A genuine interest in the scientific and technological development of food and high standards of cleanliness; Power of observation; Good interpersonal skills; Self-starters who are eager to learn and implement; Clear, logical thinking and communications; Ability to think long term and strategically; Problem solving ability; Leadership ability; A team player.