Food technologists ensure food products are produced safely, legally and are of the quality claimed. The role is varied and dependent on what area of the industry you enter. For example, manufacturing technologists have a more practical role and work on day-to-day issues as well as long-term projects directly with the production and factory teams. Retail technologists, however, deal with many manufacturers and work with their manufacturers' technical teams to solve issues and on projects.
Food technologists can get involved in developing the manufacturing processes and recipes of food and drink products. They may work on existing and newly discovered ingredients and technologies to invent new recipes and concepts, as well as modify foods to create, for example, fat-free products and ready meals. They often work closely with the product development teams to help deliver factory ready recipes based on the development kitchen samples.
Some food technologists are involved in conducting experiments and producing sample products, as well as designing the processes and machinery for making products with a consistent flavour, colour and texture in large quantities. This must be done within a strict and ever-changing regulatory framework around the treatment of foodstuffs. For this reason, technologists are responsible for keeping up-to-date with relevant legislation.
The work may also involve building relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as ensuring products are profitable.
Activities vary depending on the type of employer, area of work, e.g. manufacturing, retail or public sector, and area of specialism. However, tasks may include:
In food manufacturing, the work may also involve:
In retailing, typical work activities include:
In the public sector, the work can involve:
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