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 Food Technology & Processing Industry
 

Food Technology & Processing Industry

 
 

INTRODUCTION

The concept of processed foods has caught the imagination of consumers in recent years because of their enhanced convenience, variety, nutrition and taste. The challenge therefore lies in continuously developing new variations of food items, as well as new processes that will maximize its appeal and shelf-life, and minimize the use of chemicals and preservatives.

The food processing industry covers a range of food products. These include the basic or primary foods, such as wheat and rice products, sugar, oil and pulses and the processes for converting them into edible form and the processed foods such as biscuits and bakery products, confectionery, dairy products, breakfast foods, meat and fish products, fruit and vegetable products and all such items which are processed and packaged to enhance and prolong their edible life.

The swelling consumerism has seen the introduction of a range of new products like ready-to-eat snack foods, breakfast cereals, textures vegetable protein foods and so on. Different brands of the same item and attractive packaging vie for the consumers attention.

NATURE OF WORK

The work performed in the food processing industry involves the practical application of the principles of chemistry, physics, biology, microbiology, biotechnology, engineering and other disciplines of science for preservation , processing and handling of food materials. Thus a food technologists, chemist, biotechnologist, technicians and engineers are generally involved in this industry.

ELIGIBILITY

For a B.Sc. in Home Science / Food Technology / Food Science, a candidate has to have passed the 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths. For M.Sc. / Management, the minimum eligibility criteria is a B.Sc. This industry provides ample job opportunities to persons with specific skills and abilities. Some kind of formal training is essential in order to enter the industry. All courses in this field require a background in science

Food craft institutes and institutes of Hotel Management Catering & Nutrition conducts one year's full time certificate courses in bakery and confectionery, canning and food preservation. Minimum qualification for the course is the matriculation or equivalent examination in the 10+2 pattern, with a minimum of 50% marks in the aggregate . Maximum age limit for the course is 25 years.

Various Indian universities offer degree courses in home science, food technology and food science. The duration of these courses varies from two to three years. M.Sc and Ph.D courses in Food and Nutrition , Home Science, Food Technology and Bio-Technology are also available in various universities and institutes.

APTITUDE REQUIRED
A food technologist has to be particular about cleanliness and hygiene and should be prudent, conscientious and meticulous.

 

EMPLOYMENT AVENUES
The food processing industry is a nascent field and those with training can find jobs in various areas. Some of them are listed below :

  • Food processing companies, (for human consumption or animal feed) food research laboratories, food wholesalers, retailers and even in hotels, restaurants, hospitals and other catering establishments.
  • Industries working on the development of goods and services which convert a raw farm crop into ready-to-use food, according to the demands of the customers.
  • Public sector undertakings in the Department of food recruit people in this field.
  • In towns and cities there are ample opportunities for self-employment in the form of dynamic delivery networks and home catering services operated by food entrepreneurs. The packaging and distribution of home-made condiments, pickles, and sauces are other avenues of self-employment.
  • Research and development laboratories offer many openings for scientists in the food sciences disciplines to conduct experiments to help improve the yields, appearance, flavour, nutritive value and general acceptability of the packaged foods, and develop alternatives from different food sources.
  • Moreover, ample opportunities for self-employment also exist in big cities in the form of dynamic delivery networks operated by informal-sector food entrepreneurs. In several towns and cities a large number of home catering services, mainly managed by women, also provides meals and snacks . In the rural sector also various self-employment opportunities are available.
 
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