Food technologists work with food production companies to ensure that the food they produce meets standards, while also using their scientific background to help develop new products. These new products are then commonly tested by focus groups, so that the food technologist can understand the public’s reaction and what possible improvements could be made. When a product is created for public release, the technologist will examine the food’s nutritional content to ensure accuracy of labels and packaging. It is common for food technologists to have a bachelor’s degree in food science.
Job responsibilities of a food technologist include:
Determine estimates of shelf life for food products
Keep the economics of production in mind while developing new products
Monitor the reaction of the public once a new product is released
Keep reports and clearly communicate findings of research and test panels
Responsibilities of Food Scientists vs. Food Technologists
The responsibilities and work setting of these food researchers can vary greatly depending on their role and who they are working for. A food technologist generally works with a company to study their current products and help develop new ones through scientific research, nutritional evaluation, and testing panels. Food scientists also study food but in a wider array of settings and for different purposes, including quality control in factories and agriculture research on farms. A strong background in science is crucial for both of these careers.