What is Food Science?
The field of food science involves multiple other disciplines, including chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and even some forms of engineering. Food scientists gather data from these fields to solve problems associated with the many parts of the food and food production system.
Basically, the basis of food science involves understanding the basic chemistry that makes up food. It also encompasses studies on food components such as proteins and carbohydrates, and how they react during processing and storage.
What Food Scientists Do?
Food scientists apply methods from different fields of science including chemistry, nutrition, microbiology, and engineering to improve the safety, quality, nutrition value, and availability of food.
Depending on their specialization, food scientists can develop new and exciting ways to process, package, preserve, and/or store food items. They do that all within the stringent industry and government regulations.
Where Can You Study Food Science?
You can usually enroll in a food science course in colleges and universities that offer agricultural courses. However, there are also cases wherein the college does have a food sciences department, but no agricultural courses.
Food science is basically chemistry, focusing mostly on biochemistry because you will be dealing with carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other macromolecules every day. If you have a good grasp of basic chemistry, you will not have any problem making sense of food science.
Careers in Food Science
If you are thinking of pursuing a degree in food science, here are some of the many different career paths that you can take once you graduate.
- Quality Assurance – It encompasses professional scientists who make sure that the ingredients and processes involved in food production are compliant with the strict regulations set by the government for the safety and satisfaction of the consumer. The people in this industry ensure that food is always consistent in quality, and above all, edible.
- Food Safety – This is a field that deals mainly with how to prevent food outbreaks. Food safety deals with methods designed to keep food safe, which is the most important thing when you are manufacturing food meant for distribution to millions of consumers. Those who are part of this industry are responsible for preventing E.coli or Listeria outbreaks that can endanger millions and potentially destroy the company.
- Food Engineering – This is probably the most confusing part of food science. It is kind of tricky to explain to people who are not in the know, mainly because it involves a lot of math. Food engineering professionals are essentially the middleman between the scientist and the engineers/mechanics who work the manufacturing machinery.
Food science is one of the most rewarding and exciting fields of science that you can get into. Now that you know the gist of it, you already took the first step towards having a rewarding career.