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Food scientists work in the production and modification of food and drink products, applying scientific expertise and technical skills, working in either manufacturing or research. Their job is to explore and examine the different ingredients and processes of food production, creating new and marketable goods.
Food scientists usually study the physical and microbiological properties of food, evaluating its nutritional information, texture and flavour. They experiment with different samples, checking if any yeasts or bacteria are harmful, and potentially looking to develop new recipes.
Food technologists have a similar role, but work mainly in developing new food and drink products to a certain specification. This could include try to develop ready-meals or products which are low-fat or free of a certain ingredient, such as gluten or sugar.
This role is highly technical, and daily tasks usually include:
Food scientists aim to ensure that they can create the best new food or drink product, and must do so safely, efficiently and cost-effectively. Food scientists and technologists may also try to find different ways to keep food fresh or to make it last longer, or may need to develop products that can be produced on a large scale.
Food scientists can work in either public or private sectors, in retail, food manufacture, or for education, research and health organisations.