What you should know about Food Technology jobs
There’s nothing better than munching down on a tasty meal when you are hungry, but how many people think about the food on their plate further than how good it tastes. Have you ever wondered who makes sure the food we are eating is safe and of high quality? The people responsible for this, work in the food science or food technology industry and they are vital in keeping us healthy. Food technology jobs in South Africa are on the rise, considering we export so much food to the rest of the world, it makes sense that there are a lot of positions available in this industry. Get ready to learn more about what the food technology industry entails.
What is Food Technology?
Many people think that working in food technology or food science jobs is the same as being a chef. This couldn’t be further from the truth as food technology is about the science and technology behind the manufacturing of food products on an industrial scale. This includes disciplines such as microbiology, food preservation, food chemistry and food engineering. So food technology jobs actually involve tasks like quality control, production management and new product development. Food science is all about discovering new ways to improve the quality, taste, texture and nutrition of the food supply in such a way that is affordable and possible on a large scale.
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Personal Qualities of a Food Technologist
A good Food Technologist must be practically inclined and be able to work accurately and methodically, as you will be conducting scientific testing requiring accuracy. You will need to have a sound knowledge of chemistry, food technology, microbiology, physics and biochemistry. You will also need to be willing to learn constantly and keep up-to-date with the latest changes in the food science world a there are always new discoveries and advancements being made. The ability to work in a team is also vitally important, you will be working in research teams so a Food Technologist needs to be able to work well with other workers. This also includes taking responsibility for their actions and make independent decisions.
As population figures continue to increase, we are constantly in need of larger outputs of healthy food to meet this demand. As a result, new scientific and technological food challenges are always presenting themselves. To give you an idea of the kind of demand we are referring to; The Food Industry in South Africa employs approximately 1 500 000 people. It is the second largest employer in South Africa with an annual turnover in excess of R20 billion.
A career in food technology jobs can lead to rich rewards and excellent job satisfaction for men and women. As you will be dealing with everything from production to packaging, your day-to-day activities will change a lot. You will be involved in a range of technical, managerial and engineering related problems and solutions.
The majority of qualified food technologists can find work in industrial food manufacturing companies, such as bakeries, bottling plants, beverage manufacturers (soft drinks, beer and wine), canning companies, meat, dairy and fish processors. Research opportunities also exist in these companies, as well as in research institutions that monitor our public supply chains.
What kind of training is required?
In term of education requirements, to be eligible for food technology jobs there are two ways to do this. You can either enroll at a Technikon or one of South Africa’s top universities.
The South African universities of Natal, Orange Free State, Pretoria and Stellenbosch offer a four-year Business Science Degree in Food Science. Furthermore the University of Stellenbosch offers the M. BA. Food Science in conjunction with its Business School. A national diploma can also be obtained in Food Technology at a South African Technikon. The course will take you three years including one year in-service training with an approved employer in the industry.
Here are some food technology job opportunities available on Job Mail
Central Kitchen Food Technologist
Research & Development Project Leader
Mayonnaise Shift Supervisor
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Inspired to find ideal food technology jobs in your area? Job Mail features a range of food technology jobs in South Africa, including food science jobs, online. Register your CV and start applying for your dream career today.