Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.
- Associate Professor
- Compliance Coordinator
- Confectionery Laboratory Manager
- Dairy Bacteriologist
- Food and Drug Research Scientist
- Food Chemist
- Food Preservation Scientist
- Food Processing Scientist
- Food Safety Director
- Search for substitutes for harmful or undesirable additives, such as nitrites.
- Develop new food items for production, based on consumer feedback.
- Demonstrate products to clients.
- Study the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing.
- Confer with process engineers, plant operators, flavor experts, and packaging and marketing specialists to resolve problems in product development.
- Develop new or improved ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences.
- Develop food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications.
- Test new products for flavor, texture, color, nutritional content, and adherence to government and industry standards.
- Stay up-to-date on new regulations and current events regarding food science by reviewing scientific literature.
- Study methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience.
People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.
This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.
People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Support and Recognition in their jobs.
- Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
In 2012, the average annual wage in California was $65,040 with most people making between $35,000 and $108,760
During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 2,200 people in California. It is projected that there will be 2,600 employed in 2020.
This occupation will have about 40 openings due to growth and about 90 replacement openings for approximately 130 total annual openings.
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collegeUniversity of California-Berkeley
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majorFood Technology and Processing
collegeOregon State University
collegeUniversity of California-Davis
majorCulinary Arts/Chef Training
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onetDietitians and Nutritionists