Food Scientist/Technologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


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

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Food Products and Processing Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Checks raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value.
  • Inspects food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards.
  • Evaluates food processing and storage operations and assists in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.
  • Studies methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience.
  • Stays up-to-date on new regulations and current events regarding food science by reviewing scientific literature.
  • Tests new products for flavor, texture, color, nutritional content, and adherence to government and industry standards.
  • Develops food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications.
  • Develops new or improved ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences.
  • Confers with process engineers, plant operators, flavor experts, and packaging and marketing specialists to resolve problems in product development.
  • Studies the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Microbiologist -- Studies the growth, structure, development, and general characteristics of bacteria and other micro-organisms.
  • Dairy Bacteriologist --
  • Food Preservation Scientist --
  • Research Food Technologist --