Food technologists plan the manufacture of food and drink products. They work on existing and newly discovered ingredients and technologies to invent new recipes and ideas, and modify foods through creations such as fat-free products or ready meals.
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.
The work can also involve building relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as ensuring products are profitable.
» Typical work activities
Typical work activities include:
* developing new, and modifying existing, products and processes;
* checking and improving quality control procedures in your own and suppliers' factories, from the raw material stage through to the finished product;
* researching current consumer markets and latest technologies to develop new product ideas;
* selecting products from suppliers;
* preparing product costings based on raw materials and working with finance to provide profitable products;
* addressing issues of safety and quality.
In food manufacturing, the work may also involve:
* carrying out process support and development, new product development, and quality control;
* developing the ability to repeat processes to ensure consistency and safety;
* liaising and co-operating with technical and commercial colleagues in procurement, sales and technical service, marketing and distribution, and also with official food inspection and hygiene agencies (this takes up a considerable proportion of time on the manufacturing side).
In retailing, typical work activities include:
* working with suppliers on quality issues and new product ideas.
In the public sector, the work involves:
* carrying out administration and devising policy for government departments;
* implementing enforcement roles in local authority environmental health departments.