Whether you live to eat or eat to live is not the real question, what matters is what you are eating and what keeps you healthy and happy. Investigators working behind the scenes checking out what you are consuming are known as food technologists.
Food technology is a branch of food science that deals with the production processes to make food. Food processing involves processing, preservation, labeling, quality and development of food products.
“Food technology is a very interesting field as food science and technology ensures the delivery of a safe, nutritious, and abundant food globally. It helps us to advance the food system, minimise risks, and maximise benefits. It can address specific issues throughout the food system. Many raw food materials and ingredients are transformed into consumable and safe foods that are available all round the year. Developments in food science and technology have enhanced food safety and have kept quality consistent; provided reduction in nutrient deficiency-related diseases; reduced food waste; decreased home food-preparation time; lowered household food costs; led to creation of products specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of specific subpopulations; and efficient global food distribution” says Dr Anupa Siddhu, principal, Lady Irwin College.
Food technologists do a wide variety of work which includes research and development scientists, food processing operator, food inspector, bacteriologist, food handler, toxicologists, organic chemists, biochemists and analytical chemists.
“Food technologists are also involved in product approval documents and the relevant food import and export regulations. Food technology is a professional course and you need to do master’s for high-end research and development and teaching,” says Aparna Gupta, professor, MSc in food technology. It is therefore an added advantage to excel in the profession.
A food technologist can work in food processing companies, food research laboratories, with food wholesalers/ retailers, catering establishments, hotels and restaurants, airlines kitchens, rice mills, storage plants, distilleries, packaging industries depending on the respective department and the expectancy of the task allotted.
Experts say that the challenges that most female food technologists face are that of the plant work in industries as most of the plants are situated in remote areas. The problems in are rural road connectivity, inadequacy of information, marketing linkages, and lack of electricity supply. That’s why women choose product research, food retailing and new product development.
Consumers are increasingly demanding healthy foods. Hence, food science has better job prospects than any other industry.