Jobs in food science

Jobs in food science

Can’t choose between science or food? As the taco girl says – why not both…

When it comes to jobs in food science, there’s a whole menu of careers to explore!

There are plenty of areas you can cook up a career in food science. Like, think about how food gets from ‘farm to plate’ for instance, or the research and development that goes into producing crops and livestock – how are foods processed and packaged? How are they stored and moved safely to where they’ll be sold? Quality controls are needed at every stage to ensure a safe product for the end consumer, as well as a complete nutritional breakdown and information on where the ingredients have come from.

RELATED: Food technology

A new taste for science

“As a food scientist or food technologist, you have the opportunity to work in diverse areas, from formulating new foods and beverages, improving their nutrition and safety, to developing processes or technology to make food products,” says Lita Katopo, a senior food scientist and technologist at CSIRO.

According to the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, jobs such as nutritionist, food technologist, research and development and quality assurance officer, are rife in areas like food chemistry, sensory and consumer sciences, food engineering, quality assurance, nutrition and regulation. #choice

RELATED: Hungry for a career in farming? The STEM opportunities are endless

Before the kitchen

So, you’ve decided the food game is for you, but what does that look like from a study perspective? The usual starting point is a Bachelor of Science in the engineering, biological, physical or chemical sciences, but you can do an Honours year, following your area of specialty or look out for opportunities like scholarships and mentor programs that can lead to internships, too.

You could be doing research in state-of-the-art commercial labs solving real-life industry problems at uni. For instance, there are eight universities currently partnering with the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre to divert food waste into other purposes.

“I find it so rewarding to see products that you have helped make in supermarkets, with people buying them,” says Lita.

Food science wins for Oz!

Australian food scientists are hitting it out of the park when it comes to cool new discoveries in the edible arena…

✔ CSIRO have figured out adding seaweed to cow feed will reduce their methane emmissions

✔ CSIRO biochemical engineer, Dr Simon Harrison, built the first-ever virtual mouth to investigate the science of chewing

✔ Aussie researchers have produced the world’s first probiotic drink to deliver good bacteria to the gut

✔ Wine producers are upcycling waste into grape-seed extract for nutraceutical products

✔ CSIRO are using shockwave tech to extract bioactives from plants

RELATED: Keen to cook up a food science gig? Meet three experts killing it in…

Science + food study – start your career here

  • Bachelor of Science (Nutrition and Food Science), Curtin University
  • Bachelor of Science (Food Science and Nutrition), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of South Australia
  • Bachelor of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, Western Sydney University

Jobs in food science

Food scientist: $43K–$94K
Food technologist: $50K–$92K
Nutritionist: $44K–$105K
Quality assurance manager:

This article originally appeared in Careers with STEM: Science 2021

STEM Contributor

Author: STEM Contributor

This article was written by a STEM Contributor for Careers with STEM. To learn more, please visit our contact page.


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