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No matter what happens in the job market, food is a constant in our lives. And every day, consumers want more from the food on their table.

education Updated: Apr 02, 2013, 17:32 IST
Hindustan Times

The lowdown

No matter what happens in the job market, food is a constant in our lives. And every day, consumers want more from the food on their table. This is where the skills of food technologists come in. They study the chemical, physical and microbiological makeup of the food. The food is processed, preserved, packaged and stored according to the specifications by industry and government. It remains a sunrise industry despite the economic slowdown. The fact that it is in its initial growth stage in India means getting a job is relatively easy. This is one sector that has immense potential to generate employment and revenues in India. Food technologists find employment in food processing, retail, hotels, agri-products (companies), and in the service sector in departments like quality assurance, production, hygiene, laboratories, etc. Everything in the industry is based on physics, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition and engineering. Thus, a student should have sound knowledge of the basic sciences

An average day of a food technologist can be as follows:
10.30am: Wake up, work out
9am: Reach office
9.30am: Visit factory to check tin cans and packaging of product
2pm: Lunch
6pm: Leave for home

The payoff
A science graduate can earn Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh per annum. Remuneration goes up after a master’s degree. A general manager can draw around R15 lakh per annum

* Knowledge of and a certain comfort level with the physical sciences, chemical, biological and mathematical sciences
* Food technologists research, design and develop food products of all types. Therefore, professionals need to have problem-solving skills to develop and test new products
* Creativity is essential
* Should have no problems working in a laboratory environment
* A basic interest in processed foods available in the market

Getting there
After completing Class 12 in the science stream from a recognised examination board, you can opt for BSc (hons) in food technology. After that, you can go for higher studies like MSc in food technology at institutes like the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, or opt for an MBA degree in agri-business management

Institutes and URLs
* Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, University of Delhi
* Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, University of Delhi
* University of Mumbai
* Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad
* Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore
* National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, New Delhi
* IFTM University, Moradabad
* Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology,
* Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
* State Agricultural Universities

Pros and cons
* The industry has tremendous growth potential, creating lots of jobs options for graduates
* Self-employment opportunities exist
* Consumers are becoming more concerned about food safety
* You play a pivotal role in improving the nutritional quality of food

With the adoption of a globalisation policy and opening up of Indian shores to foreign companies, there is ample scope for food technologists --- Meenakshi Garg, assistant professor, department of food technology, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, University of Delhi

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