Food Scientist

Food Scientist

Food scientists investigate and analyse food, from harvest to processing, cooking, and consumption. They may be involved in:

  • Providing accurate nutritional information for food labels, for example fat, sugar and vitamin content
  • Managing sensory research that finds out whether people like the taste, look and feel of new products
  • Checking the safety and quality of food
  • Researching consumers’ perceptions of food

What's the difference between food science and food technology? Food science is the study of the physical, biological and chemical makeup of food and the concepts underlying food processing methods. Food technology is the application of food science to the preservation, processing and packaging of food, and the development of new food products. In New Zealand, many people with qualifications in food science work as food technologists, so the difference is not absolutely clear-cut.

Food scientists are often employed by:

  • Research organisations, such as Plant & Food Research, AgResearch and universities
  • Food manufacturers, including large companies – Fonterra, Heinz Wattie’s and Nestle, for example – and smaller companies such as the Kiwi Ice Cream Company

Food scientists typically earn:

  • $40-50,000 starting salary
  • $45-65,000 with two to three years’ experience
  • $65-95,000 with five or more years’ experience

Key tertiary qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science, Applied Science or Technology in Food Science (three years)
  • Bachelor of Food Technology (four years)
  • A Master’s degree or PhD is generally required for work in a research role

Recommended and required school subjects:

  • Chemistry (required for Food Technology pathway)
  • Biology
  • Calculus (required for Food Technology pathway)
  • Physics (required for Food Technology pathway)
  • English
  • Statistics & Modelling
     

Careers New Zealand: Food Technologist


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Food Scientist: People who work in this role

  • Trang Duong

    Food Scientist, Trang Duong at work

    Amy Overington

    Project Lead, Amy Overington at work

    Fiona van Loon

    Fonterra Technical Graduate- Associate Research Technologist. , Fiona van Loon at work

    Tanyaradzwa E Mungure (Ta)

    Research Master student, Tanyaradzwa E Mungure (Ta) at work
  • Vic Chiang

    Research Doctoral Candidate , Vic Chiang at work

    Pui Yee Lee

    Food Science PhD student, Pui Yee Lee at work

    Sze Ying Leong

    Food Science PhD student, Sze Ying Leong at work

    Tracey Feary

    Food Scientist, Tracey Feary at work
  • Judie Farr

    Research Associate, Judie Farr at work

    Sandhya Wadhwa

    Research Associate, Sandhya Wadhwa at work

Food Scientist: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Ministry for Primary Industries
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    Harraways
    Harraways
    Hill Laboratories
    Hill Laboratories
    Zespri International
    Zespri International
  • Sealord
    Sealord
    Dairy Goat Cooperative
    Dairy Goat Cooperative
    Constantia Foods
    Constantia Foods
    Silver Fern Farms
    Silver Fern Farms
  • Sanitarium
    Sanitarium
    Plant & Food Research
    Plant & Food Research
    Frucor
    Frucor
    Fisher & Paykel Appliances
    Fisher & Paykel Appliances
  • McCain Foods (NZ)
    McCain Foods (NZ)
    Heinz Wattie's
    Heinz Wattie's
    Cerebos Gregg's
    Cerebos Gregg's
    Fonterra
    Fonterra
  • Tasti Products
    Tasti Products
    Westland Milk Products
    Westland Milk Products
    Hubbards Foods
    Hubbards Foods

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