When we have an appetite for something, we just have to go to the nearest supermarket. There we can find almost everything our heart desires: creamy yogurt, low-fat sausage and crispy chips. Food technologists are responsible for the processing and packaging of these products.
Food technologists at work
Food technicians bring products to supermarket shelves that taste great, look good, and remain affordable. On the one hand, they are developing new foods . On the other hand, they build the systems with which these are produced, design packaging and carry out quality controls.
As can already be seen in this field of activity, the food technology course is part of the large area of engineering. Accordingly, scientific and technical content predominate in the course. They are supplemented by specialist knowledge in the areas of nutritional physiology, business administration and ecology .
According to EHUZHOU, the bachelor’s degree can be roughly divided into two phases:
- The introductory phase: Here the focus is on subjects such as chemistry , physics , biology and math . In process engineering or thermodynamics, technical fundamentals are in the foreground. Courses in industrial hygiene, food law or business administration round off the schedule.
- The main course: In the higher semesters, students learn how individual groups of food are produced. They also deepen their knowledge in areas such as apparatus engineering, food analysis or quality management . Almost all universities offer the opportunity to specialize in a certain area of work.
The master’s course serves to deepen the knowledge acquired so far and to qualify for management positions and the higher public service.
The various master’s programs offer students the opportunity to specialize in certain subject areas . These include, for example, quality assurance and management . It is also possible to focus on a specific group of foods , such as organic foods or dairy products.
Food technology at German universities
A food technology course is partly available in Germany as an independent course , partly as a focus in courses in the field of process engineering or engineering.
Depending on the course of study and the university, there are other focal points in terms of content . At the center of the course you can
- engineering content
- economic subject areas
- food expertise
stand. At some universities there is the possibility of specializing in other product groups such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics or detergents.
In any case, prospective food technologist should be interested in science and mathematics and a basic technical understanding to bring. Knowledge of English is also helpful, as some specialist books and articles are only available in English.
Where food technicians come into play – professional fields
The study profile already makes it clear: The areas of work for graduates are not limited to the food industry , even if many food technicians work there.
Product development is a popular field of work. There, food technicians design new foods or improve existing products in terms of taste or tolerance. For example, food technologists help to optimize the processing of fruit, vegetables and grains or food of animal origin. They ensure that the production of the end product runs as efficiently and smoothly as possible. The quality control and marketing of one of its fields.
Food experts are also needed in the supply industry. They support companies in developing new machines . They are also active in plant engineering or in packaging technology .
Food technologists are also used in industrial sectors that, at first glance, do not have much to do with their studies. Those who have specialized in pharmaceutical engineering or cosmetic technology during their studies will find employment with the large cosmetics or pharmaceutical manufacturers , for example .
Food technicians not only work in production, but also in quality control. Potential employers are authorities such as the trade inspectorate or the health department . Apart from industry, universities and the large research laboratories can be used as areas of application. There graduates work in research and teaching.
Food technicians are not only used in Germany. There are employment opportunities abroad, for example
- at international institutions such as the FAO ( Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ) or the WHO ( World Health Organization )
- in internationally operating industrial companies
- in development aid .
Reasons for studying food technology abroad
If you want to work in an international organization or in an international corporation later, it is important for you to gain experience abroad while studying.
A whole degree abroad or one or more semesters in another country offer the opportunity to gain intercultural skills , such as working in international teams. Similarly, are foreign language skills perfected. This is also important for graduates who want to go into research later. Especially in laboratories that are internationally oriented, the colloquial language is often English.