Food Scientists and Technologists

Description

Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.

Sample Job Titles
Food and Drug Research Scientist
Food Chemist
Food Scientist
Food Technologist
Product Development Scientist
Quality Control Inspector (QC Inspector)
Research Chef
Research Food Technologist
Research Scientist
Seafood Technology Specialist
Skills
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Knowledge
Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Tasks
Check raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing, and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value.
Inspect food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management.
Evaluate food processing and storage operations and assist in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.
Study methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience.
Stay up to date on new regulations and current events regarding food science by reviewing scientific literature.
Test new products for flavor, texture, color, nutritional content, and adherence to government and industry standards.
Develop food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications.
Develop new or improved ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences.
Confer with process engineers, plant operators, flavor experts, and packaging and marketing specialists to resolve problems in product development.
Study the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing.
Work Activities
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Personality Traits
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.