A career path in nutrition that many people haven’t heard of is the food technologist, but this individual plays an important role in food processing. They examine our food sources and look for ways to create more nutritious processed foods, while also ensuring the labels that go on our processed foods provide accurate information. In order to be efficient in these tasks, a food technologist has to be proficient in a number of different sciences, such as chemistry and biology. They use this knowledge to identify the nutritional elements in our foods.

Getting Your Education

If you’re interested in becoming a food technologist, you’ll first have to spend four years in school. A bachelor’s degree is required and many schools offer a food science and technology degree program, which prepares you for your new career. According to studies from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a food technologist is $65,840 and the career field is expected to see a rate of 3% in job growth over the coming year.

The educational program prepares students for their career in two ways. First, the study of food science teaches the physical sciences, including the biology of food. This helps the student to understand how food deteriorates and how it can be processed more efficiently. The food technology aspect of the program revolves around the food manufacturing and processing practices. Students are taught to use engineering and research to come up with better ways to process foods.

What You’ll Do on the Job

Once you graduate and begin your career as a food technologist, your primary task will be to look for foods that are safer and healthier for people to eat. Additionally, you may be looking for ways to make the foods we already eat healthier through different packaging or processing methods.

While it may sound as though you’ll be working with processed foods, food technologists also work with natural, fresh foods. In addition to developing new foods for public consumption, you may also be asked to come up with new flavors or look for healthy ways to make foods more colorful.

If nutrition and healthy eating are things that interest you, a career as a food technologist may be the ideal career for you. While it requires an investment in your education, the career itself can be rewarding and exciting.