One of the most new-age and fast emerging careers of today is Food Technology. Just like in arts and humanities, the PCB stream has also expanded to newer career avenues, one of which is Food Technology.
Food Technology combines streams of engineering, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition. Thanks to Food Technology field today, many seasonal foods are now available throughout the year. India's food and beverage industry currently stands at US$ 40.3 billion and is expected to touch US$ 66.3 billion by 2018, registering a growth of 18 per cent. Imagine the scope of career in this field.
While food technology is about the safety, hygiene, packaging and processing of food, the personality traits need special attention. Following are the traits needed in food technology careers:
- Mind of a scientist: Food Technology involves a considerable amount of thinking and analyzing from the point of view of nutrition and chemistry. Hence you need scientific thinking.
- Knowledge of food and nutrition: A great interest in food and nutrition will lead to a good knowledge of the field. It is a pre-requisite because the course will have a lot of implementation of this knowledge.
- Inquisitiveness: You also need to be insatiably curious about your surroundings, biology and hygiene. You must be a good reader who reads a lot about food and nutrition.
- Communication skills: Apart from the above, you must have strong communication skills because you will interact with industry experts while working.
There are degree and diploma courses available in food technology. You can opt for a diploma course immediately after completing your XII or get a B.Sc or a B.Tech degree in the same. This means, you have to have physics, chemistry and biology at the higher secondary level as a minimum qualification for these courses. There are also master degree courses in science and technology with specialization in food technology. However, graduates of home science, nutrition and dietetics and hotel management are also eligible for post graduation in food technology.
List of institutes offering Food Technology
|National Sugar Institute, Kanpur, Chennai, Kolkata||www.nsi.gov.in|
|National Daily Research Institute, Karnal and Bangalore||www.ndri.res.in|
|MS University, Vadodara||www.msubaroda.ac.in|
|Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore||www.cftri.com|
|Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow||www.iisr.nic.in|
|Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Kolkata and Rohtak||www.cife.edu.in|
List of Institutes abroad offering Food Technology related courses
Heriot watt University Dubai
Following are the positions offered to Food Technology graduates:
- Food Technologists: They suggest techniques for the processing, preservation and conservation of food to be packaged. They are also responsible for the quality checking of the food in terms of adulteration, hygiene, food standards etc.
- Food Engineers: Engineers are needed at several stages of food processing. A person with a B.Tech degree with food technology is ideal for this position.
- Analytical Chemists: These are the people responsible for the quality packaging of various food products. They check and verify several factors involved in the packaging process.
- Biochemists: They really ensure that the end customer gets the best taste in packaged food. They are involved in the flavour, storage, texture, and quality of the packaged foods.
- Organic Chemists: These are engaged in evaluating the method of converting raw material into processed food.
- Research Scientists: Packaging and processing of food involves a lot of research in both chemistry and technology. There is a major chunk of research scientists involved in research and development of the field.
- Production posts: In addition to the above, there are many posts available in production such as quality controller, production executive, supervisor, product developer etc.
Most graduates begin with a monthly salary of Rs 8000 – 12000. With work experience they can easily earn around Rs 25,000 per month. Top institutes place their graduates in a lot of multi-national companies who offer better pay packages.