In a nutshell: Developing new products which are sold to food manufacturing industries to use in their products.
Why? "It's satisfying to see products you developed on supermarket shelves."
Glenfield College, final year subjects: Art History, Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics
Massey University - Albany: Bachelor of Food Technology (Honours)
You need Calculus, Chemistry and Physics to get into the Food Technology degree course. Food systems are based on chemistry, so knowledge of the reactions between ingredients during processing and storage is important.
A careers pathway programme at school led me into this work. It included visits to universities, and at Massey we did a laboratory exercise involving enzymatic browning of apples and eating biscuits with chocolate sauce - it showed me that Food Technology is a fun and exciting career.
I completed 900 hours of work experience, as part of my degree, at several food industry companies. Through this, I learned a lot about food safety, quality assurance and product development processes.
In my final year I completed a research project at another food company, where I worked closely with company employees. The project involved identifying the causes of a quality assurance problem, and in the end I developed a new recipe that improved the quality of the product
I work on a wide variety of food products. One day I'll be developing a batter coating for meat, the next a salad dressing or chip seasoning.
If you're creative and love a challenge you'll enjoy this job. You also need to be analytical and have good problem-solving skills.
Some food technologists move on to a completely different food system, for a new challenge. Others move on to more senior roles such as managers or become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses.
Posted April 2014
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