Job Duties of a Food Scientist

A Food Scientist is someone who works in the food processing industry to develop and improve technology used to process, can, freeze, store, package, and distribute food.  Many Food Scientists work in the research and development department at food processing companies, however, other work in plants that process food as quality control or supervisors.  Some Food Scientists work as food inspectors for the government or private plants, in the dairy industry, or in sales or advertising at large companies.

Job Duties of a Food Scientist

Food Scientists use scientific research about the properties of food to find safe ways to preserve, process, store, distribute, and package food.  Food Scientists are vital to the growth of the agricultural industry and help make foods safe for people everywhere to eat.  The majority of Food Scientists work in private industry, at universities and colleges, or for the United States Government.   The duties of a Food Scientist will vary based on the particular position he or she holds, but can include any of the following:

  • Determining Food Content. Food Scientists test product to determine the contents for product labeling.  This can include caloric value, fat content, and the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
  • Quality Control. Food Scientists are often in charge of quality control at plants and factories that process food.  This includes monitoring for bacteria or other dangerous conditions in the factory as well as ensuring that food is handled safely.  Food Scientists may also be asked to respond if a potentially harmful condition is detected in food.
  • Education. Food Scientists provide education to the public about health and nutrition, and teach consumers how to make good food choices.  This is done either through large companies with outreach programs or by the Government.
  • Inspection. Many Food Scientists work as inspectors at food plants for the Federal Government.  In this position, Food Scientists work to make sure that food is handled and processed correctly to ensure that it is safe for consumption.  Food Scientists can also specialize in dairy products and work as inspectors at dairies.
  • Development. Food Scientists work in food processing plants to develop foods with added nutritional value and to create recipes using food products developed by corporations.  Food Scientists are often employed by companies that produce nutritional or dietary supplements to create foods with particular nutritional qualities that also taste good.  Even NASA employs food scientists to develop foods that can be eaten by astronauts while in space.

Food Scientist Salary: How much money does a Food Scientist make?

The growth of the biotechnology industry has lead to a huge growth in the demand for Food Scientists.  As companies increase the use of technology to grow crops that can produce more food for the worlds growing population, Food Scientists are in high demand by companies that need assistance in developing ways to use, store, and package these food.  The salary for a Food Scientist will vary based on his or her education, experience, and where he or she works.  Food Scientists will usually have an education in Culinary Arts as well as extensive knowledge of Biology and Chemistry.  The average salary for a Food Scientist is around $50,000 annually, however, those who work for large corporations can earn as much as $90,000 or more.