Food science is a vital part of the economy, but its importance is probably not recognised by consumers. If you think about the shelf life of a product and how it is constantly increasing, this is down to the work of those in the food industry, and more specifically, food science specialists.
What are food science jobs?
Food science jobs cover a range of roles in the food and retail industries, with public and private sector jobs available. This opens up an incredible career pathway to follow and encouraging more people to enter the field will reap great benefits down the line.
There are opportunities in the manufacturing side, where there is a lot of practical work and day-to-day issues to contend with, as well as the retail side dealing with various manufacturers to solve problems faced in the retail industry.
There is a research and development sector that deals with creating new products and samples, working with testing groups and involved in producing products on a large scale. To add further depth to food science roles, there is also work to be done with keeping up with legislations, procedures and administration work, as well as customer and client focused roles.
While not essential, university degrees in food science will provide an excellent base to enter the field. It is possible to learn while working, and through other accredited awards that are relevant to the specific role.
Universities across the country offer food science courses, but it can be hard to know where the best places to study. Whilst King’s College in London has the highest overall score with very high entry standards, the level of student satisfaction is quite low. On the other hand, the likes of Leeds, Nottingham and Surrey all offer a good mix of a high entry level, student satisfaction and graduate prospects.
Where can a food science career go?
With a wide range of paths to choose from, food science jobs offer excellent career prospects in any industry or sector. After gaining experience, you could be responsible for a large team manufacturing food products, developing new tools and processes for food production, as well as coming up with new ways to improve storage and shelf life of food products. Roles that involve food policies and legislations, as well as work with test groups for new products, are amongst the most demanding and rewarding.
Even in the retail industry, an understanding of food science can help raise issues in design, production, storage and testing to suit the needs of supermarkets and this understanding can be invaluable to match the changing needs of consumers.
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