Food scientists ensure the safety of food and the productivity of agriculture by examining methods to keep food appealing and fresh and testing the quality of raw materials and food products. They use their scientific knowledge to create new or improved ways of processing, preserving, storing, packaging, and delivering food products.
Some food scientists are involved in basic research where they find new sources of food, search for substitutes for unwanted or harmful additives, and study the content of food to establish fat, protein, sugar, and vitamin levels. Others are involved in applied research where they discover methods to improve food content and remove unsafe additives. Some also implement government regulations and check food processing areas to make sure that the standards of safety; sanitation, quality, and elimination of wastes are correctly met.
As UME pre-entry requirements into university, students will be required to write Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. Such a student is also expected to have Five (5) ‘O’ level credit to consist of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and any other science subject.
For Direct entry, what is required is two (2) ‘A’ level pass in Biology, Physics or Mathematics.
What kind of training does a food scientist need?
The educational requirements for food scientists depend on the position. A bachelor degree is adequate for some product development and assistant applied research positions whereas at least a master degree is required for many basic and applied research positions. A doctoral degree is typically needed for senior research and University teaching positions. Food science students typically complete coursework in food engineering, food chemistry, food microbiology, food analysis, and food processing operations. Doctoral degree programs include classroom instruction, laboratory research, fieldwork, and a thesis or dissertation based on independent research. Job prospects are expected to be good especially for food scientists with advanced education and extensive experience.
A career as a food scientist is an excellent choice for individuals who are interested in food safety and productivity. Food scientists must have thorough understanding of basic principles of business, be able to use computers to analyze data, and be able to apply statistical methods. They must have good organization, a high level of intellectual curiosity, and great problem solving skills. Excellent communication and ability to work independently effectively and as part of a team are also important characteristics.