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What is Food Science?
The food science industry specializes in the development of foods, particularly how they look, taste, how healthy they are and what methods may be employed to increase those traits.Individuals will work in government or the private sector, developing or reviewing foods that will enter the market. Food scientists utilize a variety of sciences in order to isolate and better understand the products being released, how to make them costs effective and meet national standards. Food science is responsible for a variety of innovations, particularly for prepackaged foods.
To pursue a degree in food science a student must study several scientific disciplines. Food science requires an individual to understand food at the molecular level, its nutritional values, coloring, flavor, smell, and more in order to improve upon those values. A food science major will provide an individual the skill necessary to understand and affect the production of food, its packaging, processing and distribution. Degrees are available from the bachelor's level on, with masters or doctoral degrees usually required for research positions at universities as well as teaching positions.
Courses offered may include:
- Introduction to Microbiology
- Food Chemistry
- Principles of Human Nutrition
- Processing of Dairy Products
Various specializations are also available to food budding food scientists, often requiring additional education. Some examples include:
- Food Technology
- Food Business and Industry
- Food Packaging
- Basic Food Science
Job Growth, Employment Opportunities and Related Fields
The job growth for food scientists is expected to grow faster than average. This can be attributed to the needs of a growing population that must be fed more efficiently. Food scientists typically find work in the private sector for food companies, for various agencies in government, or for educational institutions. Food scientists will work with various products for the purposes of review or development, with educational institutions implementing programs and projects in conjunction with the public or private sector, as well as independently, to advance technology in the field. Individuals working for the review process may be responsible for the introduction or barring of new products or techniques into the national market. The job of a food scientist will vary greatly in those positions and wages can vary accordingly.
The average salary for a food scientist is approximately $59,500 per year, with the lowest 10% earning less than $34,000 per year.