Career Path In Food Processing Industry
Food is an extremely vital segment of our life, which is why Food Processing has become a lucrative career sector.
Food Processing is a sub-discipline of Food Science, in which a bunch of methodologies & approaches are employed to alter the raw materials into consumable food. It is a process wherein food is made for eating purposes for both animals & humans. This becomes the crucial bridge between producers and consumers in the food web.
Food processing has several divisions involving each process such as canning, packaging, preservation, and processing of different food products.
It is a modern practice that refines distribution productivity and boosts the trading of food items. Although food processing started from prehistoric times, the advanced technologies to ameliorate preservation of flavor, food, and so on, and to lower the contaminants in the food is nearly new and has revamped the whole food industry.
The food processing industry is burgeoning in India as the consumer food sector. Modern techniques have hastened the possibility of the formation of the latest food stores, elevating the value of the food processing industry. Present-day technology in food processing emerged by the end of the 19th and 20th centuries in order to meet the military requirements.
This write-up elucidates the career path for a candidate interested in the food processing industry.
Confused About A Career In Food Processing Industry?
If you are interested in a career in the food processing industry, it is essential to perform a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, & Threat (SWOT) analysis before choosing further. This analysis examines if you are befitting for this challenging field which is at the beginning phase, though it has a golden future. A wide number of job opportunities are present in the food processing industry for different professionals like engineering graduates, food technologists, managers.
It is cardinal to examine the type of job in the food processing sector, it can even comprise of processing raw materials such as cleansing, cutting, blanching, crushing, blending, preparing the food product, mixing preservatives, packaging, and so on. Whether the individual is capable of handling these procedures should be noted at an initial phase to preclude future conundrums.
Scope For A Career In Food Processing Industry
The food processing sector provides the highest job opportunities compared to all other sectors. In India, this industry offers various positions through indirect & direct opportunities since in one way or another it links Manufacturing & Agriculture fields. In the near future, there will be huge demands for modern, healthy, and nutritious food items. India is the 2nd largest food producer after China.
India’s food processing segment has a really potent platform for consumer food products like packaged water, ready to cook & ready to eat items, corn flakes, alcoholic & soft drinks, biscuits, pastries, cakes, bread, pasta, and so on. This indicates that there will be a boom in the future within the sector with huge demands for professional experts.
It is anticipated that in the near future, the total food manufacturing in India may soar and there will be extensive possibilities for graduates in food processing. The prevalent sectors of employment are thermo-processing, refrigeration/frozen food, packaging, food & dairy processing, and canning. Few of the branches in the food processing sector are grain, soft drinks & alcoholic beverages, poultry, meat, milk & milk items, fisheries, vegetables & fruit processing. Additionally one can even get a job in consumer product divisions such as non-alcoholic fruit & alcoholic beverages, soft beverages, high protein foods, mineral water, soya-based products, cocoa & chocolate products, confectionery, and so on.
Along with the necessary skills and an aptitude to work, individuals can obtain jobs in restaurants, hospitals, food wholesalers, catering companies, food research labs, and so on. Special qualifications and higher education facilities in acquiring a rewarding position in this sector. Specialization in food technology & qualifications in home science can help you ace your career. Likewise, certification in preservation, food science, applied nutrition, dietetics enables aspirants to progress further in their career front.
Why Food Production Industry Is Important?
The food processing industry is of extreme importance as it offers necessary synergies and linkages that it enhances between the economy’s two pillars: industry & agriculture.
- Improves choices for consumers: Nowadays, food processing enables imported food to be transported to our regional market & conversely.
- Improves the taste & quality of food whereby more options are brought in the food basket.
- Extended shelf life with nutritive quality preservation: This is performed by preventing food spoilage caused by spoilage agents like microbes.
- Crop diversification: Food processing will need various kinds of inputs thereby forming an incentive for the farmer to diversify & grow crops.
- Control food inflation: Food processing elevates the shelf life hence supplies are kept in tune with the needs and thus controls food inflation.
- Controlling migration: Being a laborious sector, the food processing industry will offer regional job possibilities and hence will lower the push factor in main migration places.
- Ameliorate trade & earns foreign exchange: This is a significant port for foreign exchange.
- Lowers food wastage: With more proper grading and sorting, and shifting more products to the food processing industry, this wastage could be lowered, resulting in a reasonable price for farmers.
- Lowers malnutrition: Processed food products enriched with minerals & vitamins can lower the nutritional gap in the community.
- Increasing farmer’s income: With the soaring need for agri-products, there will be a corresponding increase in the farmer’s income.
- Employment generation: It offers indirect and direct job opportunities.
Educational Requirements For A Career in Food Processing Industry
There are various programs in India that can steer you towards a career in the food processing industry. One can choose doctoral, degree, certificate, or diploma courses to become a professional. The programs offered in this sector are of distinct time periods based on the university/college. Few are stated below:
I. Certificate Programs:
- Certificate Course in Food Preservation & Processing
II. Diploma Programs:
- Diploma in Food Processing & Technology
- Diploma in Food Preservation
- Diploma in Food Processing
III. Bachelor Programs (3-4 Years):
- B.Tech in Food Processing & Technology
- B.Sc in Food Science/ Food Technology/ Home Science
III. Master Programs (2 years):
- M.Tech in Biotechnology/ Food and Nutrition/ Food Technology/ Home Science
- M.Sc in Biotechnology/ Food and Nutrition/ Food Technology/ Home Science
IV. Doctoral Programs:
- Ph.D. in Food Preservation/ Biotechnology/ Food Technology
Eligibility For Admission In Food Processing
- For certification programs: One must have passed their 10th exams.
- For Bachelors programs: Candidate must pass 10+2 exams with Mathematics, Chemistry & Physics or Biology, Chemistry & Physics subjects for getting an admission. Otherwise, individuals can use their JEE Main & Advanced scores for admission in the respective courses.
- For Masters programs: Candidates must have Bachelor’s degree in science. In the case of M.Tech programs, one can use their GATE scores.
- Few autonomous universities conduct their own entrance test for admission purposes.
Universities & Colleges Offering Food Processing Programs
Even though this is a new subject, many colleges & universities all over India provide an extensive range of programs in food technology & food processing for students seeking a career in this field. Few reputed and pertinent institutes are mentioned in the table below:
|University of Bombay||Mumbai|
|ICT (Institute of Chemical Technology)||Mumbai|
|SRM University||Uttar Pradesh|
|Rajasthan Technical University||Rajasthan|
|G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology||Pantnagar|
|IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)||Kharagpur|
|Central Institute of Fisheries Education||Mumbai|
|Fruit Technology Institute||Lucknow|
|Krishi Vishwavidyalaya||Himachal Pradesh|
|Gujarat & Central Food Technology Research Institute||Mysore|
|National Dairy Research Institute||Bangalore, Karnal|
|National Sugar Institute||Calcutta, Chennai & Kanpur|
Important Books For Learning Food Processing
|Food Processing and Preservation||B.Sivasankar|
|Principles of Food Processing||Richard W Hartel|
|Food Processing||Carl J. Schaschke|
|Food Packaging Technology Handbook||NIIR Board|
|Modern Technology on Food Preservation (2nd Edition)||NPCS Board|
|Modern Technology of Agro-Processing & Agricultural Waste Products||NIIR Board|
|The Complete Book on Managing Food Processing Industry Waste||H. Panda|
Scholarships & Funds For Students Pursuing Food Processing Subjects
Different scholarships are present to learn food processing for International & Indian students. Few are listed below:
- Ramalingaswami Fellowship
- NAARM ICAR Senior Research Fellowship
- ABF (Agri Biotech Foundation) Ph.D. Fellowships
- JN Tata Endowment
- SK Patil Loan Scholarship
Career Prospects In Food Processing Industry
There are abundant employment possibilities for experienced and recent graduates in the food processing industry. The food processing sector is still in its early stage that promises numerous job opportunities. It is a lucrative and attractive sector that assures that trained professionals from various disciplines find good jobs for themselves. The food processing industry also offers many different positions for experts like jobs in the food supply chain, bakers, drying & baking machine tenders & operators, food batch makers, food technologists, toxicologists, bacteriologists, and so on. Some positions are delineated below.
I. Managers & accountants: Apart from technical experts, non-technical experts like accountants & managers function for the supervision of the manufacturing processes and the management of processing systems. Home Economists
II. Home economists: These people ensure the congruency of parameters on the tins and the food items present in them.
III. Analytical chemists: These individuals work as quality checkers & analysts ensuring supreme quality of the beverage & food packaging.
IV. Biochemists: Biochemists assures quality, storage, texture, and flavor of packaged food items. They ensure that nothing is there for buyers to complain.
V. Organic chemists: Experts in organic chemistry in this sector assures that there is an appropriate protocol to transform raw ingredients into processed foods.
VI. Engineers: Engineers are recruited in food processing industries to plan, design, improve and maintain the complete processing systems within a plant.
VII. Food technologists: The basic duty of a food technologist is to provide techniques for processing, conservation, and preservation of the food products to be packaged. Also, they examine the compliance of the process during the food processing & assure that there is no adulteration & contamination. Assuring prime quality nutritional value in food items by using good raw ingredients is also a food technologist’s duty.
VIII. Research scientists: Research scientists function for boosting the nutritional value, flavor, yield, and so on of the packaged food in order for them to have higher acceptance within the consumer circle.
Top Recruiters In Food Processing Industry
Some of India’s top food processing firms have come up in a partnership with MNCs in India. Companies from developed countries offer technical expertise and Indian companies provide production centers and cheap labor. India’s leading food processing firms are:
- Gits Food Products Pvt Ltd
- MTR Foods Ltd
- Hindustan Unilever Ltd
- Cadbury India Ltd
- Perfetti India Ltd
- Agro Tech Foods
- Parle Products Pvt Ltd
- ITC Ltd
- Britannia Industries Ltd
- Nestle India Pvt Ltd
- PepsiCo India Holdings
- Dabur India Ltd
- Godrej Industrial Ltd
Emoluments For Professionals In Food Processing Industry
Salary for individuals will rely upon contribution & skills, work experience, educational qualification in the food processing industry.
- Freshers can receive around ₹ 2.5-3 Lakhs per annum.
- Experienced individuals can receive around ₹ 4-5.5 Lakhs per annum.
- Senior personnel can obtain even more.
Hacks For Getting A Job In Food Processing Industry
The burgeoning food processing industry provides exceptionally good job options to those who have technical skills in food processing. But, there are particular needs required for reputed food processing companies. Few hacks are provided below for acing in their job:
- Starting early with food processing studies can promise jobs at a young age. Begin preparing for different entrance exams which are held right after 10+2.
- Having few soft skills like hard-working, prudent, hygiene & cleanliness focused, organizational, meticulous, and conscientious can give an edge over the others.
- Having outstanding knowledge in the concept has a higher chance of employment.
Challenges Faced In India In Food Processing Industry
- Low consumer awareness: Consumers must be aware of an ameliorated nutritional situation in the nation. Currently, India is lacking consumer awareness in many food quality & safety, and nutritional aspects.
- Limited potential to regulate safety & quality: The mere number of employees, particularly in big unorganized divisions within the food value-chain, makes safety and quality norms implementation hard. This has resulted in the utilization of carbide for ripening fruits and adulteration of milk.
- Low value-added in processing: There is a drastic division in food processing capacity with a big unorganized part and prevalent usage of ancient processing methods. This leads to less value-addition in processing, particularly from a nutritional viewpoint.
- The immense use of chemicals: Chemicals especially pesticides and fertilizers has been questioning the food quality which has to be resolved. Additionally, protection is required from hazardous and unfair methods like adulteration.
Food Processing Industry In International Countries
USA & other Western nations have developed food processing systems which in turn transformed food processing with technological advancement. Companies from these countries recruit individuals with qualifications & skills in food processing technology. With hard work & skills, Indian students can procure rewarding jobs in various food processing firms in these nations.
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