What does a Food engineer do?

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Published: 12th April 2010
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Food Engineering is the application of Chemical and Agricultural Engineering techniques to a vast range of food materials. Food Engineers deliver technological research and knowledge to the production of food services and products.

A Food Engineer has a wide variety of tasks to complete and the work can be quite widespread and varied. Some of the things a Food Engineer might be involved with are things like coming up with new foods, designing the production process and ensuring it is carried out effectively, operating manufacturing and designing environmentally friendly waste treatment systems.

A Food Engineer has the opportunity to be involved with the creation of some very exciting new products and services. Major players in the industry are always looking for the next big thing and trying to apply innovative techniques in order to stay one step ahead of competitors. Food Engineers employ modern tools and knowledge to develop new products and processes. For example, Nano technology is currently being developed and if its Engineers succeed it will have a significant affect on how we live and work.

Any candidate wishing to pursue a career in Food Engineering must be aware that the industry is driven by strict health and safety guidelines. Food Engineers must constantly test all the products that they produce and ensure that they will not cause any harm to the general public. Although Safety is certainly a main focus point, Food Engineers strive to achieve and create high quality products and services. The quality of different food, packaging and manufacturing processes must constantly be monitored and improved.

Food Engineers are always looking for different and new ways of packaging food. One of their aims is to try to come up with products that are able to provide more protection for foods. Another key issue with food packaging is how much waste it produces, which contributes to pollution and the deteriorating state of the environment. Food Engineers must be aware of the environment when produces food packaging and make sure that they try to use the smallest amount of material possible. This may also involve experimenting with lots of different types of material in order to establish which is most appropriate for each product.

There are many preservation technologies making their way into the industry and changing the way that food is stored and maintained over time. This is very important research because it is important to public health and can affect how long food can be stored for.

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