Is food science and technology right for me?

Food science and technology is about understanding the composition of food and, in a way, ‘reinventing’ it. It could involve enhancing the taste, making it last longer, making sure it’s safe to eat, or even boosting its nutritional content. If you love science and you’re interested in food production and preparation, this could be an ideal career for you.

What do food scientists and technologists do?

Supply nutritional information for food labelsFood scientists and technologists do pretty much everything from working with the pure science 

behind what the food is made up of to planning the efficient manufacture of food products. They:

  • look for ways to keep food fresh, safe and looking good
  • investigate cheaper and faster ways of producing food
  • test the quality and safety of food
  • invent new ‘recipes’ for foods using new ingredients
  • make changes to foods, like creating sugar-free products
  • design processes and machines that make the products on a large scale.

What do food scientists and technologists learn?

When you are studying food science and technology you’ll learn all about food from all different aspects of the industry including:

  • Science – chemistry, biology, physics
  • Food microbiology, food chemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Food toxicology
  • Food safety
  • Food preservation
  • Sustainable food manufacturing
  • Product design and development

What skills should I have as a Food scientist or technologist?

If you think you want to be a food scientist or technologist ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you love science and maths?
  • Are you interested in food production and preparation?
  • Have you got really good attention to detail?
  • Can you work with strict hygiene rules?
  • Are you a good communicator? (You need to be able to communicate to different types of people from other scientists to factory staff.)
  • Are you confident enough to enforcing rules and regulations?
  • Can you work in a team?

If you answer ‘yes’ to most of the above, then why not check out our section on What is Food Science and Technology? There you’ll find out more about what Food Scientists and Technologists do and you can explore the career choices you would have with a Food Science and Technology degree from UNSW.


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