Current Issue 26thJuly - 01st Aug 2014, i.e. No. 17
 
CAREER GUIDE


Career Prospects In Food Processing Engineering And Technology
By
 

Dr. P.Uma Devi and Dr. S.Murugan

Food processing is a branch of food science and it is a set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food for the consumption of humans and animals. Processing of food leads to preservation of food, enhances its flavour and reduces the toxins in the food product. The modern food processing techniques have led to the feasibility of the development of the present day supermarkets. The rising consumerism in the societies of developed and developing countries has contributed to the growth of food processing industries with techniques such as spray drying, juice concentrates, freeze drying and the introduction of artificial sweeteners, colorants and preservatives. In the late 20th century, products such as dried instant soups, reconstituted fruits and juices, and self- cooking meals were developed for the convenience of middle class families and mothers and especially for the working women.

     At present in India, Food Processing Industry has been gaining momentum as the consumer’s food industry. As per the report there are about 300 million upper and middle class consumers of processed and packaged food in the country, and another 200 million were likely to be added. 500 food parks are planned all over the country. This will further boost the growth and development of food processing industries and will generate huge employment opportunities for those who have an aptitude towards this work. The food is processed, preserved, packaged and stored according to the specifications by industry and government. The food processing industry is coming of age it is ranked fifth among industries of India.

     The Food Corporation of India, which handles the purchase, storage, transport and distribution of food grains and other food items, provide employment to large number of people. Private enterprises market bread, fruit juices, edible oils and soft drink concentrates.

     Food processing companies and food research laboratories, Food wholesalers, Hospitals, Catering establishments, Retailers, Restaurants provide job opportunities to candidates with degrees in Home Science and specializations in food technology, nutrition or food services management. Bacteriologist, toxicologists and those trained in packaging technology, organic chemistry, biochemistry and analytical chemistry can find openings in food technology laboratories or in quality control departments. Other jobs in this industry include Bakeries, Meat, Poultry, Trimmers, and Fish Cutters, Slaughterers and Meat packers, Food batch makers, Food cooking machine operators and tenders, Food and tobacco roasting, baking and drying machine operators and tenders.

Self-Employment Opportunities

     Self-employment opportunities also exist in the form of dynamic delivery networks for those who want to work on their own.
Food technologists, technicians, biotechnologists and engineers are required in this industry for manufacturing or production, preservation and packaging, processing and canning of various food products. All this needs preparation of raw materials for processing which involves selection, or cleaning of the raw material, followed by the actual processing, which could be chopping, blanching, crushing, mixing or even cooking of the food item, the addition of preservatives and the final packaging maintaining hygiene and maintaining quality of products.

     Following people are needed for the work in food processing industry.

Food Technologists
•    To determine whether a
     particular process is being performed in a certain specified way or not.
•    Instrumental in devising new ways and improving the older ones for preserving, conserving and processing food.
•    To check for the contamination, adulteration and controlling the nutritional value of the food products which are to be processed.
•    To determine the quality of the raw materials used in the plants as well as the food, this has to be dispatched to the market.
•    To look after the storage conditions and hygiene.

Organic Chemists: Advise on the methods by which the raw materials have to be converted into processed food.
Biochemists: Suggest improvements in flavor, texture, storage and quality.
Analytical Chemists: Analyze food products to maintain quality.
Home Economists: Expert in dietetics and nutrition and they test the food and recipes according to the directions on the containers.
Engineers: Chemical, Mechanical, Industrial, Electrical, Agricultural and Civil Engineers are also required for planning, designing, improving and maintaining the processing systems.
Research Scientists: Carry out experiments regarding improvement in yield, flavor, nutritive value and general acceptability of the packaged food.
Managers and Accountants: Manage administration and the finances apart from supervising the processing work.

Senior Food Technologist or Head Engineer in Food Processing Plant:

     They are responsible for the development of new, innovative products, from concept to final production that meet the customers’ needs as well as accomplish company objective of profitable and efficient marketing.
Production Manager – Confectionery: Shound have idea and experience about the product that will be produced, and also have some technical knowledge about the machines.
Assistant General Manager / Senior Manager Food Processing: Applying advanced Engineering techniques to set up Fruit and Vegetable processing unit and analysis within the discipline which require developing designs, innovation, and ingenuity with minimal supervision.

Personal attributes required in Food Industry

     Assiduous, meticulous, organizational abilities, particular about cleanliness and hygiene, prudent, hard working, professional courses. There are several Food and Nutrition Extension Centers in different parts of the country providing short-term courses and training in home-based preservation of fruits and vegetables, preparation of bakery and confectionery items, rice milling, oil seed processing and so on.
     Some universities in India offer degree courses in food technology and food science. There are also institutes offering Post Graduate courses in specialized aspects of food processing. Admission for under Graduate courses in food technology, food science and home science is open for candidates with Physics Chemistry Mathematics (PCM) or Physics Chemistry Biology (PCB) at 10+2 level. Food technologists have Graduate / Post Graduate degrees in the field, which are offered at various institutes in India. M.Sc. and Ph.D courses in food and nutrition, home science, food technology and biotechnology are also available in Indian universities.

Various programs are available in food technology courses including B.Tech, B.Sc., M.Tech., M.Sc. and Ph.D. The eligibility criteria for B.Tech., B.Sc., in food technology include 10+2 or equivalent in Science. It is four/three years full time course. The candidate opting for M.Sc. in food technology should have the Bachelor’s degree in Science with chemistry which is a two-year full time course. After completion of M.Sc., the candidate can pursue Ph.D. program in food processing engineering and technology. The candidate can also opt for M.Tech in food processing technology with a B.Tech degree and the course duration being two years. The challenge for the food technologist is to increase the variety and improve the quality and nutritional value of foods that are being consumed by people, while at the same time maintaining affordability through efficient manufacturing.

INSTITUTES OFFERING FOOD PROCESSING ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY COURSES

Karunya University, Coimbatore offers B.Tech and M.Tech in Food Processing Engineering, Coimbatore- 641114
MS University, Vadodara, Gujarat
Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore
Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Himachal Pradesh
Fruit Technology Institute, Lucknow 
National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal 
National Dairy Research Institute, Bangalore
IGNOU offers a Certificate Course in Food and Nutrition.
SRM Institute of Science and Technology - Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) - Food and Process Engineering
Anna University, Chennai - Bachelor of Technology
(B.Tech) - Food Technology
University of Delhi, Delhi- 110007
Gujarat Agricultural University, Sardar Krishinanagar-385506
University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad- 580005
University of Mysore, Mysore- 570005
Mahatama Gandhi University, Priyadarshini Hills PO, Kottayam- 686560
Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya, Distt. Satna -485331
Dr. Babasabeb Ambedkar Marathawada University, Aurangabad- 431004
University of Bombay, Fort, Mumbai- 400032  
SNDT Women’s University, 1, Nathibai Thackersay Road, Mumbai – 400020
Laxminarayan Institute of Technology, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Nagpur-440010
Manipur University, Imphal- 795003
Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar - 143005
University of Madras, Madras- 600005
Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Coimbatore-641043
G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Pantnagar-263145
Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur-208002
University of Calcutta, Kolkata- 700073, West Bengal
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, Kharagpur-721302

(The list is indicative only)

(Dr. P.Uma Devi and
Dr. S.Murugan,
School of Biotechnology,
Karunya University,
Coimbatore-641114
email ID : umadevipongiya@
rediffmail.com)

 
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