What they do
Food technologists research, develop and oversee the production of a range of food products. They study the physical, chemical and biological properties of food and use this knowledge to develop or improve the materials, processes and technologies that go into making foods and beverages. They may also develop packaging, marketing plans and manufacturing processes for these products. They also devise and source ingredients for products, and find the best ways of combining, processing, storing and preserving them to maintain taste and nutritional value.
Food technologists mostly work for food manufacturing organisations and depending on their specific role may work in laboratories, offices or factories. They may be required to work in premises where food and food products are actually kept, which must be clean, sterile and well-lit. They usually work regular hours but may be expected to work longer hours to meet deadlines. They may occasionally be required to run laboratory tests at off-peak times, such as nights or weekends. They may also be required to travel in order to sample produce or to attend conferences.
Tools and technologies
Food technologists use a variety of laboratory and scientific research equipment such as tensile and compressive testing systems, texture analysers, tenderometers, and probes and fixtures. They also use standard kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, blenders and ovens. They may use packaging and processing machinery, computers and specialised software, and safety and hygiene equipment.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a food technologist, you usually need to study a degree with a major in food science and technology, nutrition or chemistry.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.