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Food Scientist


How to Become a Food Scientist
Food Scientist Job Duties
Skills and Qualities to Become a Food Scientist
Food Scientist Salaries
Influential Food Scientists
Leading Food Scientist Organizations
Top Cities for Food Science Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Food Scientist

A bachelor's degree in a field in biology, botany, agriculture science, or other similar fields is usually sufficient as an entry level candidate. However, for positions of higher responsibility, employers do look for masters and doctoral degrees. Some food scientist work as a part of a university or college, which requires a PhD to teach.

Food science is a broad discipline, considered to be a sub division of agricultural science and is closely associated with nutrition. Many culinary academies and schools require their students who become chefs and other food professionals in food preparation and businesses have a strong background in food science. Food science studies not only the food itself, but all the processes that go into making, eating and preserving food. This requires knowledge of microbiology, chemistry, business, agronomy, and health and safety regulations. The Institute of Food Technologists have a booklet outlining the history of food science and describes food science as turning "traditional foods into a variety of specialty products and makes them tasty, safe, available, and convenient."

What does a Food Scientist do?

Food scientists and the discipline in which they participate is largely responsible for how plentiful, varied and rich our modern food sources are. With the rise of food production to its current levels, sophistication and variance, food scientists serve a vital role in helping keep populations fed and healthy.

Food scientists apply scientific knowledge about food products, crops/herds and natural food processes to improve food preservation, availability and selection; find new food sources; evaluate and improve the nutritional value of food; prepare food; or even help enforce government policies on safety, sanitation, quality standards and waste management.

The title of "food scientist" can encompass a number of professions. Many food scientists are employed by government agencies or entities as inspectors and enforcers of regulations and standards. The vast majority, however, are employed in industry. Food scientists work at corporate farming enterprises, slaughtering operations, food processing and packaging facilities, community health programs, culinary businesses and institutions, research and educational organizations, and in consulting firms. More recently, food scientists and agronomists are helping pave the way in the bio-diesel industry, which works to convert plant energy (e.g. oils and compounds from corn and other plants) into fuel. Geneticists who help create new plant species that provide more complete nutrition can also be considered food scientists.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Food Scientist?

An analytical mindset is important, working with large amounts of data. So is patience, due to sometimes the long-term nature of some projects. Food scientists sometimes work alone or in teams, the latter of which necessitates good communication skills. Because they produce findings and presentations, both oral and written communication skills are also important. Beyond these traits, little more can be said about individual characteristics beneficial to a particular job, as the number of jobs available under the category of "food science" is considerable.

How much does a Food Scientist make?

In 2007, food scientists and other similar biologists made between $32,000 - $101,000+ a year. Salaries depend on location and employer, along with experience.


Who are some influential professionals in this field?

A good bet is to check out who is leading the primary professional and academic organizations in this field as well as professors who are teaching at prestigious institutions in this area. For example, , Kenneth J. Moore is the President of the American Society of Agronomy.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

American Institute of Biological Sciences
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
American Society of Agronomy
Living Science (Purdue University)
Institute of Food Technologists

What are the top cities for Food Science jobs?

When performing a job search, there are not many positions available for simply "food scientist" as many positions available in this field are much more specialized in nature and often require specialization in the study of a particular food process or food type. However, a best bet would be to look for regions where agriculture is big business, like the Midwest, South and California. Indianapolis and Kansas City both had a few more job openings than other areas, but on the whole, it seems that there is no one epicenter for food science positions.

Other Careers of Interest

Baker
Bakers mix and prepare dough, for bread, rolls, pastries, pies, and other baked goods. These baked goods can be sold in a bakery, restaurant store,...

Butcher
Butchers and meat cutters cut up animals which have been slaughtered into different cuts of meat. This meat might be "case-ready" or "boxed" meat...

Chef
Chefs prepare and cook food in many different ways and for many different types of establishments and individuals. A chef may prepare all types...

Food Processor / Meat Packer / Butcher
Food processors may perform many different tasks, all in the field of food processing. Usually these tasks have to do with meat preparation and...

Food Service Manager
Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and institutions which prepare and serve food and drink to customers....



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