Food Scientist

Food scientists develop scientific studies and research hypotheses for the investigation of foods and their processing. This research might involve studying the molecular makeup of food, improving food sustainability or enhancing nutritional content. They do this by creating research hypotheses, carrying out experiments, analyzing data and writing reports based on conclusions they have discovered.

What Responsibilities Will I Have?

  • Research the chemical composition, structure and properties of food
  • Develop scientific studies and research hypotheses for projects and investigations
  • Prepare proposals to secure research funding
  • Improve and develop food products and processes
  • Conduct analytical tests on foods in a lab setting
  • Analyze collected research data using statistical methods and computer software
  • Consult with food companies and government agencies on the production of food
  • Study the nutritional and human/animal health impact of foods
  • Collaborate with other scientists
  • Take notes during experimentation using an electronic lab notebook, batch record and/or protocols
  • Work with the appropriate regulatory and compliance agencies (e.g., FDA), as needed
  • Conduct reviews of scientific literature and apply findings to your research
  • Communicate research findings to the scientific community, food producers and the public
  • Submit research to academic journals and publishers
  • Present presentations on research findings and new techniques at conferences

Recommended High School Courses:

  • agricultural education
  • family and consumer sciences
  • chemistry
  • biology
  • mathematics
  • statistics

Education/Training Required:

A bachelor’s degree in microbiology, biology, chemistry, food science or a related field is required to become a food scientist. There are some positions, especially those that are more research-driven, that require a master’s or doctorate degree.