Food technology: Science of making food last longer

  • FAST FACTS                                                                            pack3
    Programmes: BTech, MTech (Food Technology/Food Engineering); BSc, MSc (Food Technology; MSc (Food and Nutrition)
    Job profiles: Production engineer, R&D, Quality control, Food Regulatory Officer, Food Microbiologist
    Best institutes: UDCT, Mumbai; College of Food Technology, Parbhani; Amity University; CFTRI, Mysore; Guru Jambheswar University of Science
    and Technology, Hisar; IIT Kharagpur
    Recruiters: FMCG companies, small and medium-scale food processing industries, FSSAI, food testing labs

    ALONE at home and not in a mood to cook? Instant noodles to the rescue! A trip to the nearest supermarket in your area unravels the plethora of food products in different flavours and forms. Be it mixed grain atta, baked chips, energy drinks, flavoured curds, probiotic drinks, pastas, sausages or even healthy, nutrition bars, all these varieties in the day- to- day food are all courtesy food technology. Food technology is the science that transforms cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables, raw meat and milk to various packaged food products.

    Preventing wastage
    “It is the foundation for protecting food from going waste and extending its shelf life by preserving it for a longer time,” explains Dr VH Potty from Central Food Technology and Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore. One of the earliest advances in food technology was made in 1810, by a scientist called Nicolas Appert, who developed canning as a method to store food for a longer time. Around 54 years later, Louis Pasteur’s discovery enabled people to prevent wine and milk from spoiling.

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Photograph: Shutter Stock
WITH THE LARGEST land area and diverse agro-climatic zones, India has a production advantage with potential to become the food factory of the world.

Sunrise in industry in India
Food processing is considered a sunrise industry here. With the largest irrigated land area and diverse agro-climatic zones across the country, India has a production advantage with  potential to become the food factory of the world. It also offers a vast market to the food processors and traders, says Dr Bhupender Singh Khatkar, a senior faculty in the Department of Food Technology, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technologe, Hisar, Haryana, Dr Khatkar believes that the food processing sector is the next revolution to take place in India; retail processed food business will create nine million jobs.

Food technologists, in demand
The business has already grown since globalization thereby leading to increase in the requirement for food technologists, says Dr Rizwana Haleem, Associate Professor and Senior Faculty Member, Department of Food technology, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, Delhi University (DU). The college is one of the two in Delhi offering a BSc (Hon) in Food Technology. Many alumni from this college are working in many food processing companies and also as food scientists.

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