Education in India, Career in India: Food Services
Food Science : Food science draws from many disciplines such as biology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry in an attempt to better understands food processes and ultimately improves food products for the general public. As the stewards of the field, food scientists study the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of food. By applying their findings, they are responsible for developing the safe, nutritious foods and innovative packaging that line supermarket shelves everywhere.
Food Technology : The food you consume on a daily basis is the result of extensive food research, a systematic investigation into a variety of foods’ properties and compositions. After the initial stages of research and development comes the mass production of food products using principles of food technology. All of these interrelated fields contribute to the food industry – the largest manufacturing industry in the United States. (Courtesy - ift.org).
Food technologists, technicians, bio technologists and engineers are required in this industry for the practical application of the principles of many disciplines of science in the 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 along with keep in hygiene and maintaining quality of products. Following people are needed for the work in food processing industry:
- Food Technologists : They are given the responsibility of determining whether a particular process is being performed in a certain specified way or not. They are instrumental in devising new ways and improving the older ones for preserving, conserving and processing food. They have to check for the contamination, adulteration and controlling the nutritional value of the food products which are to be processed. Food technologists are also assigned to determine to quality of the raw materials used in the plants aw well as the food which has to be dispatched to the market. They also look after the storage conditions and hygiene.
- Organic Chemists : They advise on the methods by which the raw materials have to be converted into processed food.
- Biochemists : They suggest improvements in flavor, texture, storage and quality.
- Analytical Chemists : They analyze food products to maintain quality.
- Home Economists : They are in a way expert in dietetics and nutrition. 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 : They carry on experiments regarding improvement in yield, flavor, nutritive value and general acceptability of the packaged food.
- Managers and Accountants : They manage administration and the finances apart from supervising the processing work.
For B.Sc. in Home Science/ Food Technology/ Food Science, one should have passed 10+2 examinations with Physics, Chemistry and Biology as the main subjects. For M.Sc/Management, the minimum eligibility is a B.Sc
Some of the prominent institutes offering courses in this field are:
- MS University, Vadodara, Gujarat; and Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore (with branches in Karnataka and Mumbai) offers certificate courses in Bakery and Confectionary, B.Sc and M.Sc in Food Science
- Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Himachal Pradesh; Fruit Technology Institute, Lucknow offers degree and diploma course in Food Technology.
- National Sugar Institute, Kanpur, Chennai and Calcutta, offers associateship in Sugar Technology and Sugar Engineering and Diploma in Industrial Fermentation and Alcohol Technology.
- Central Institute of Fisheries Education with four centers in Barrackpore (WB); Kakinada (A.P); Lucknow and Mumbai, also offers various certificate and diploma courses.
- National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal and Bangalore, offers B.Sc quality control in dairy processing and B.Tech in dairy technology.
- IGNOU offers a certificate course in food and nutrition.
- Small Industries Services Institute, Okhla, New Delhi offers Entrepreneurial Development Program on food processing industries.
The Cabinet of India on June 21, 2007, granted its approval to an integrated plan, which aims to promote India's food processing sector and boost the country's agricultural business (according to a press release).
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 are likely to be added by 2010.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries is planning to establish 500 food parks in the Tenth Five Year Plan across every parliamentary constituency. This will give a further boost to the growth and development of food processing industries and thereby is generating a huge job potential for those who have an aptitude for the work and required qualifications.
The food processing industry is still at its nascent stage in India. It thus provides ample employment opportunities. The areas where one can find employment in this industry are:
Restaurants provide employment to candidates with degrees in home science and specializations in food technology, nutrition or food services management. Diploma holders in dietetics, applied nutrition, food science and preservation and those having certificate in dietetics or food and nutrition can also be employed in this industry.
Food processing companies and food research laboratories
- Food wholesalers
- Catering establishments
Bacteriologist, toxicologists and those trained in packaging technology, organic chemistry, biochemistry and analytical chemistry can find opening food technology laboratories or in quality control departments.
A number of public sector undertakings in the department of food also require people in this field. 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.
Self-employment opportunities also exist in the form of dynamic delivery networks for those who want to work on their own.
Private sector companies have been the key players in the food sector and even companies like ITC are now moving into the sector, seeing the potential in processed foods.
Some other back-end jobs in this industry are:
The major players in private sector in this industry in India are:
- 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.
- ITC Limited
- Parle Products Pvt. Ltd.
- Agro Tech Foods
- Perfetti India Ltd.
- Cadbury India Ltd.
- PepsiCo India Holdings
- Nestle India Pvt. Ltd.
- Britannia Industries Ltd.
- Hindustan Lever Limited
- Milk food
- MTR foods limited
- Godrej industries Limited
- Gits Food Products Pvt. Ltd.
- Dabur India Ltd.
Earnings vary by industry, skill, geographic region, and educational level. At the entry level the food technologists can earn around Rs.5000 to Rs.8000 per month.
Those who have an experience of around five years can draw a salary in the range of Rs.10000 to Rs.15000 per month. And those who have worked for 15 years can earn up to Rs.30000 per month.