In a nutshell: Developing new products and making improvements to existing products.
Why? "Obtaining positive results after hard work makes me happy."
Westlake Boys' High School, final year subjects: Business Studies, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics
Massey University - Albany: Bachelor of Food Technology (Honours)
I enjoyed Maths and Physics at school, and now they help me solve problems and think outside the square.
When I first heard about food technology I knew it was the correct pathway for me because I realised food is a big business in New Zealand and internationally.
Every day is different: one day I might be in the kitchen making lab samples and another I might be working in the factory. Sometimes I work alone and sometimes as part of a team. When I don't know something I can ask the other 40 or so product development technologists who help improve my knowledge about food. There is always an opportunity to learn new things every day.
The most exciting project that I have worked with was investigating a manufacturing process environment to finding out why the fats and proteins in foods were being lost during production.
Our work has a positive impact on the environment as a problem in a factory will certainly affect the quality of the product, and therefore it will end up as waste. The various tests that I do are carried out to see whether products are capable of being successfully processed into food, and are designed to minimise waste.
My job involves working in the kitchen, pilot plant and factory so it would suit someone who enjoys practical work as well as wanting a typical office job. I would say the important skills are communication, flexibility and project management.
There are various jobs and pathways for a product development technologist. For example, I could become a senior product development technologist, a team leader, a manager, or move to working in thermal processing or quality assurance – or many other options.
Posted June 2013
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