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Food science is a broad area of science research relating to food. It is the study of the physical, chemical and biological make-up of food.
Research can involve establishing the nutritional value of foods, looking at food composition, processing, consumption and the effects it can have on the digestive system, and factors that will increase the shelf life of food such as preparation, packaging and storage.
Food science uses biology, chemistry, engineering and biochemistry to create food that is nutritious and safe, with innovative packaging.
While the chemists and microbiologists look at the food itself, engineers design processing equipment, and computer equipment to monitor it.
Food scientists often work in laboratories, and may be employed by food companies, or the government. Many say they enjoy their job as it combines science with creativity.
How to get into food science
There are HND, undergraduate degree and postgraduate degree courses available in food science, which are sometimes combined with another specialist subject such as marketing or technology.
It is often helpful to choose a course that includes some work experience, or else a candidate can organise their own work experience during the holidays.
Qualifications and experience
A strong background in science subjects is required both at GCSE and A-Levels. Biology, Chemistry and Food Technology are all useful subjects to have studied. Grade level requirements will vary between institutions.
The average salary in food science is £20,000, however senior scientists can earn up to £50,000.
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