The primary duties a Food Technician will responsible for during employment will depend greatly on the specific needs of the company. These responsibilities include but are not limited to product reviews, evaluations and enhancements, research and development that involve new innovations, and the practical use of food science that will benefit the company's products. The job also involves critiquing and reviewing current practices of the manufacturing process and physical attributes of the food, preservation and storage for deficiencies and improvements to raise the quality and efficiency. Ideally, an employer will want to maintain or lower the cost of the techniques and procedures currently in place, so an awareness of cost efficiency in regard to innovative technologies is important. Improvement of the taste and nutrition of foods is equally important to most employers. Finding ways to update or modify a particular food product in order to gain an edge in the marketplace and secure a larger share of the food industry is the broader goal of all Food Technicians.
Typically a Food Technician will propose and test a hypothesis for a company, sometimes with specific instructions and goals in mind, while other times a Food Technicians' skills and abilities will be called upon to come up with ideas that were not considered but will ultimately prove valuable to that company. This sort of creativity and the ability to brainstorm new possibilities is usually heavily encouraged by employers, as it often brings about revolutions in the food industry that could only be imagined by those who have expert knowledge of in the field of Food Science.
The position of a Food Technician requires a minimum of a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science, Food Engineering, Agricultural Science, or some other related degree, much of which depends on the specific area of expertise of food technology that a company desires for their particular needs related to the field of Food Science. A general scientific knowledge of how food is stored and processed as well as being able to evaluate food products in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration standards and policies is usually a requirement, as well. Possessing communication skills that enable the Food Technician to convey his or her data and results in ways that can be utilized commercially for the company is also of extreme importance. It's also generally accepted that Food Technicians be highly adaptable and able to work on a rigid schedule. Being goal-oriented and having a high level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills are also traits employers look for.
Food Technologist Tasks
- Record data, procedures, and findings.
- Collect samples and data to document fit to specifications.
- Plan production procedures by extrapolating from prototypes and calculations.
- Identify, monitor, and report on quality and composition of foods.
- Optimize the taste and texture of a product.