In a nutshell: Ensuring our food ingredient products are safe to be consumed when they leave our facility.
Why? "As a technologist, you're constantly solving problems – whether it's improving product quality, being involved in innovative research and development, or finding a more efficient way to complete a task. Every day is a new day."
Mt Roskill Grammar School, final year subjects: Accounting, Calculus, Chemistry, Geography, Physics
Massey University - Palmerston North: Bachelor of Food Technology (Honours)
Maths and Chemistry were my favourite subjects. Maths comes in handy on a daily basis when dealing with formulations [a mixture of ingredients prepared in a certain way], and chemistry is important because of the interactions between vitamins and minerals when they're blended together.
My day-to-day work involves providing technical support to some of our other departments. That means using my knowledge to help with tasks such as formulating a new product or approving raw materials for use in our products.
We mainly supply premix materials – we make up ingredients for companies in a variety of industries: food, beverage, dairy and pharmaceutical.
There are opportunities to be creative such as when we're working with customers who have new ideas for a product.
One project I worked on over the summer was developing three new sausage flavours for the winter season. The flavours were pork and cracked pepper; lamb, mint and rosemary; and pork, apple and cider.
There are four product development technologists on our site here in New Zealand, and more overseas. I travelled to Singapore this year to attend our company's regional formulation meeting.
Anyone who likes problem-solving and has a good understanding of food chemistry would enjoy this job. You need skills such as good communication, the ability to work well in a team and computer literacy (knowing Excel helps).
From my current role, the next step would be to the sales or marketing teams. You still use your technical knowledge but in the sales world.
Posted May 2015
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