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Food scientist

Food scientists and food technologists develop food and drink products, making sure they are safe to consume.

Potential salary
£20,000 to £45,000
Working hours
39 to 41 a week
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of food production methods
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As a food scientist, you'll:

  • provide accurate nutritional information for food labelling
  • investigate ways to keep food fresh, safe and attractive
  • find ways to save time and money in food making
  • test the safety and quality of food

As a food technologist, you'll:

  • blend new ingredients to invent and modify recipes
  • conduct experiments and produce sample products
  • design production processes and machinery

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work at a research facility or in a laboratory.

You could work for a range of organisations involved in researching and developing new products, including:food manufacturers and supermarkets; government and university research establishments; local authorities

You could improve your career prospects by getting Registered Scientist (RSci) or Chartered Scientist (CSci) status through the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

With experience you could become a project leader or manage a department like research and development or quality control. You could also move into fields like chemical engineering, agricultural research, toxicology or nutrition science.

You can find out more about becoming a food scientist from the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Data from National Careers Service.
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20th October 2020