Recent data gathered by the Career Colleges Trust found that 33% of 13 to 16-year-olds had no idea what they’d like to do for a living. It’s an alarming statistic, and one which suggests many teenagers, don’t have access to information about the wide range of options available to them.
One such avenue involves food science and technology, which is perhaps the perfect example of a niche career path. So, what exactly is food science? How might you get into it? And if you do, what jobs might it be relevant for?
What is food science?
Essentially, it is the study of the make-up of our food in a biological, chemical, and physical sense. All foods are made up of a combination of things like fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and food science harnesses nutrition, biochemistry, and microbiology, to help us understand that.
It enables us to build a picture of how food is grown, processed, and packaged – as well as the effect it can have on consumers. Armed with this information, food scientists can help to improve the quality of what we eat, and by extension, our health, and wellbeing.
How to get into food science and technology?
There are a number of school subjects that can help to pave the way for a career in food science and technology. As a staple of the curriculum, chemistry, and biology, will provide the basic foundational knowledge for you to build upon. On top of that, studying food technology can help you with the fundamentals like accurately using weighing scales like those sold by RS, understanding how ingredients react with each other, and the importance of hygiene.
Away from traditional education, there are plenty of other avenues you can explore. For example, you could always seek employment or experience in the food industry, working in a restaurant or for a catering company. On top of that, you can devote some of your spare time to researching the topic by listening to podcasts, analysing online resources, or reading industry magazines.
What jobs are there in food science and technology?
The careers in this sector extend far beyond being a food scientist. Food is an integral part of our everyday lives, so there are all manner of jobs for which your qualifications could prove relevant. For example, nutritionists will need an in-depth understanding of how various foods affect our bodies and how we can strike the right balance. Brewers and chefs can also harness that knowledge to create products for their customers, while quality managers need to ensure these meet the legal standards and specifications.