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Career Details

19-1012.00 - Food Scientists and Technologists

Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.

Key Facts
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Bright Outlook
Career Details
Green Job
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Current Employment
Forecasted Employment
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Change in Employment %
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The tasks listed below can be performed to prepare you for a career in this field.
  • Test new products for flavor, texture, color, nutritional content, and adherence to government and industry standards.
  • Check raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing, and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value.
  • Confer with process engineers, plant operators, flavor experts, and packaging and marketing specialists to resolve problems in product development.
  • Evaluate food processing and storage operations and assist in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.
  • Study methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience.
  • Study the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing.
  • Develop new or improved ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences.
  • Develop food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications.
  • Demonstrate products to clients.
  • Inspect food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management.
  • Seek substitutes for harmful or undesirable additives, such as nitrites.
  • Develop new food items for production, based on consumer feedback.
  • Stay up to date on new regulations and current events regarding food science by reviewing scientific literature.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The items listed below are organized into sections that contain knowledge useful for pursuing a career in this field. Each section also contains a "Percentage of Importance" statistic that shows how relevant an item is to the occupation.
 Food Production
  • 85%
    Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • 83%
    Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 82%
    Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
 Production and Processing
  • 81%
    Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
 English Language
  • 75%
    Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 73%
    Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
 Engineering and Technology
  • 68%
    Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
 Education and Training
  • 62%
    Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • 61%
    Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
 Public Safety and Security
  • 59%
    Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
 Law and Government
  • 57%
    Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
 Administration and Management
  • 57%
    Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
 Computers and Electronics
  • 56%
    Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 53%
    Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
 Customer and Personal Service
  • 52%
    Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The tools listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Packaging machinery
  • Vacuum packagers
 Food preparation machinery
  • Piston filling machines
  • Stuffers
  • Drum dryers
  • Food dehydrators
  • Food crushers
  • Fruit presses
  • Pulper finishers
  • Steam blanchers
 Food cooking and smoking machinery
  • Roasting equipment
  • Jet cooking systems
  • Thermal processing equipment
 Industrial freezers
  • Blast freezers
 Crystallography equipment
  • Dynamic light scattering equipment
  • X ray crystallography equipment
 Fluid mechanics equipment
  • Amylographs
  • Viscometers
  • Torsion gelometers
 Laboratory environmental conditioning equipment
  • Microbial monitoring systems
  • Anaerobic growth chambers
 Laboratory baths
  • Laboratory water baths
  • Orbital shaking water baths
 Laboratory centrifuges and accessories
  • Microcentrifuges
  • High speed refrigerated centrifuges
  • Refrigerated benchtop centrifuges
 Sampling equipment
  • Air sampling systems
 Laboratory water purification equipment and supplies
  • Water activity meters
  • Dehydration equipment
 Fermentation equipment
  • Fermenting tanks
 Laboratory incubating equipment
  • Programmable incubators
  • Bioreactors
  • Carbon dioxide CO2 laboratory incubators
 Laboratory ovens and accessories
  • Laboratory mechanical convection ovens
  • Laboratory ovens
 Laboratory decanting and distilling and evaporating and extracting equipment and supplies
  • Retort sterilization equipment
  • Rotary evaporators
  • Extractors
  • Specific gravity fat analyzers
  • Heat exchangers
  • Plate heat exchangers
  • Tubular heat exchangers
  • Macro kjeldahls
  • Micro kjeldahls
 Laboratory electrophoresis and blotting system and supplies
  • Fraction collectors
  • Gel electrophoresis equipment
 Weight measuring instruments
  • Electronic laboratory balances
  • Analytical balances
 Viewing and observing instruments and accessories
  • Darkfield microscopes
  • Phase contrast microscopes
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Epifluorescence microscopes
 Indicating and recording instruments
  • Laser colony counters
  • Color difference meters
  • Coulter counters
 Temperature and heat measuring instruments
  • Computerized calorimeters
  • Melting point apparatus
 Chemical evaluation instruments and supplies
  • Dynamic mechanical analyzers DMA
  • Thermal gravimetric analyzers
  • Benchtop nephelometers
  • Scanning plate readers
 Liquid and solid and elemental analyzers
  • Nitrogen analyzers
  • Glucose analyzers
 Light and wave generating and measuring equipment
  • Laboratory lasers
  • Differential refractometers
  • Colorimeters
 Spectroscopic equipment
  • Spectrofluorimeters
  • Ultraviolet UV spectrometers
  • Reflectance spectrometers
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Atomic absorption AA spectrometers
  • Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers
  • Infrared IR spectrometers
 Chromatographic measuring instruments and accessories
  • Gas chromatographs GC
  • Ion chromatographs
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
  • Autosamplers
 Clinical and diagnostic analyzers and accessories and supplies
  • Amino acid analyzers
  • Bacterial identification systems
  • Spiral platers
 Autoclave and sterilizer equipment and accessories
  • Steam autoclaves
  • Biological safety cabinets
  • Laptop computers
  • Desktop computers
  • Personal computers
 Cooking and warming equipment
  • Batch fryers
  • Griddles
  • Grills
  • Commercial microwave ovens
  • Induction cooktops
  • Ranges
  • Steam kettles
 Food preparation equipment
  • Food choppers
  • Meat grinders
  • Food mixers
  • Food slicers
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The technologies listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Content authoring and editing software
  • Microsoft WordHOT
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft PowerPointHOT
  • Microsoft ExcelHOT
 Data management and query software
  • PathogenTracker
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA National Nutrient Database
 Industry specific software
  • BioDiscovery ImaGene
  • Image analysis software
  • Insightful S-PLUS
  • MDS Analytical Technologies GenePix Pro
  • Sensory Computer Systems SIMS
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The certifications listed below are useful to pursue if you are interested in a career in this field.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The licensing information below is organized into sections and is useful for pursuing if you are interested in a career in this field.
No specific licensing information is listed for this occupation in the area you have selected.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Related Programs
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Programs related to this career, offered by participating institution(s), are listed below.

Clicking on the Degree programs in the list below will take you away from the Careers page.
Germanna Community College
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Paul D. Camp Community College
Tidewater Community College
Virginia Highlands Community College
Virginia Western Community College
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Jobs related to this career may be found on or on the Google Job Search page.