Profession food biotechnologist

Food biotechnologists study the life cycle of food from its preservation up to the spoilage and the food-borne pathogens. They research and understand food-borne diseases in order to prevent them. They ensure that food products abide by government regulations regarding food health and safety.

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Personality Type

  • Investigative / Realistic

Knowledge

  • Ingredient threats

    Ingredients  and potential risks which could damage humans, the flora and the fauna. Functions in ingredient formulas.

  • Food products composition

    Chemical and nutritional composition of food products, which enables the modification of existing products and processes and the development of new ones.

  • Biotechnology

    Technology that utilises, modifies or harnesses biological systems, organisms, and cellular components to develop new technologies and products for specific uses.

  • Food allergies

    The types of food allergies within the sector, which substances trigger allergies, and how they can be replaced or eliminated (if possible).

  • Enzymatic processing

    Enzymatic processes used in food production as well as in other industrial biotechnological processes.

  • Food science

    The study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food and the scientific concepts underlying food processing and nutrition.

  • Pathogenic microorganisms in food

    The identification and characteristics of pathogenic micro-organisms in food and the adequate prevention methods to inhibit its reproduction in food materials.

  • Food product ingredients

    Technical features of the formulation of ingredients for food products.

  • Food preservation

    Deterioration factors, controlling factors (temperature, additives, humidity, pH, water activity, etc., including packaging) and food processing methods to preserve food products.

  • Food legislation

    Legislation related to the food and feed industry including food manufacturing, hygiene, safety, raw materials, additives, GMOs, labelling, environmental and trade regulations.

  • Legislation about animal origin products

    The applicable legal rules on temperature, waste materials, traceability, labelling, trading, and the transport of animal origin products. 

  • Quality assurance methodologies

    Quality assurance principles, standard requirements, and the set of processes and activities used for measuring, controlling and ensuring the quality of products and processes.

  • Fermentation processes of beverages

    Fermentation processes related to the conversion of sugar to alcohol, gases and acids. 

  • Food toxicity

    The causes of food poisoning and spoilage, and the preservation methods of food products so as to prevent toxicity from customers.

  • Food storage

    The proper conditions and methods to store food to keep it from spoiling, taking into account humidity, light, temperature and other environmental factors.

  • Food safety principles

    Scientific background of food safety which includes preparation, handling, and storage of food to minimise the risk of foodborne illness and other health hazards.

  • Food and beverage industry

    The respective industry and the processes involved in the food and beverage industry, such as raw material selection, processing, packaging, and storage.

  • Fermentation processes of food

    Conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process happens using bacteria or yeasts, or a combination of the two under anaerobic conditions. Food fermentation is also involved in the process of leavening bread and the process of producing lactic acid in foods such as dry sausages, sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, and kimchi.

  • Foodborne diseases

    Understand foodborne illnesses and poisoning as to prevent public health problems.

  • Laboratory based sciences

    Laboratory based sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, integrated science or advanced laboratory science.

Skills

  • Identify the factors causing changes in food during storage

    Recognize the most relevant factors (chemical, physical, environmental etc) that can alter the food during its storage

  • Detect microorganisms

    Use various laboratory methods and tools such as gene amplification and sequencing to detect and identify microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi in soil, air, and water samples.

  • Improve chemical processes

    Collect data required to make improvements or modifications to chemical processes. Develop new industrial processes, design new process plants/equipment or modify existing ones.

  • Ensure public safety and security

    Implement the relevant procedures, strategies and use the proper equipment to promote local or national security activities for the protection of data, people, institutions, and property.

  • Follow-up lab results

    Analyse lab results and apply them by adapting the production process. Report, review and take appropriate measures if necessary.

  • Follow quality standards

    Apply a set of measures and standards concerning the quality of processes or products, ensuring that quality is maintained and improved during work activities.

  • Manage food manufacturing laboratory

    Manage laboratory activities in the plant or factory and using the data to monitor the quality of manufactured products.

  • Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages

    Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.

  • Apply GMP

    Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

  • Perform food risk analysis

    Perform food risks analysis for food safety assurance.

  • Keep up with innovations in food manufacturing

    Latest innovative products and technologies to process, preserve, package and improve food products.

  • Apply HACCP

    Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

  • Manage discarded products

    Manage production stops due to insufficient product quality and manage associated waste issues within the scope of good manufacturing practices.

  • Analyse samples of food and beverages

    Examine if food or beverages are safe for human consumption. Verify the right levels of key ingredients and the correctness of the label declarations and the levels of nutrients present. Ensure samples of food and beverages comply to specific standards or procedures.

  • Monitor processing conditions

    Observe gauges, video monitors, and printouts to assess if specified processing conditions are in place. Make the necessary adjustments to process variables such as times, inputs, flow rates and temperature settings.

  • Operate microscope

    Operate a microscope, an instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye to see.

  • Perform microbiological analysis in the food chain

    Perform analysis to detect different types of microorganisms such bacteria, moulds and yeasts in the food chain.

  • Monitor developments used for food industry

    Identifying and exploring developments and innovation in technology and materials in the food industry.

  • Lead process optimisation

    Lead process optimisation using statistical data. Design experiments on the production line and functional process control models.

  • Prepare visual data

    Prepare charts and graphs in order to present data in a visual manner.

Optional knowledge and skills

carry out environmental audits analyse work-related written reports adjust production schedule follow laboratory manuals assess shelf life of food products apply scientific methods statistics develop standard operating procedures in the food chain collect briefing regarding products be at ease in unsafe environments perform quality audits carry out training in environmental matters ensure finished product meet requirements assess food samples apply food technology principles apply preservation treatments develop new food products food materials monitor the production line write work-related reports food safety standards risks associated to physical, chemical, biological hazards in food and beverages assess haccp implementation in plants check quality of products on the production line participate in the development of new food products keep up-to-date with regulations ensure compliance with environmental legislation in food production

Common job titles

  • Food technologist
  • R&d food technologist / researcher
  • Food technologist - product development
  • Associate food technologist
  • Food traceability and technology scientist
  • R&d technologist
  • International associate technologist qa/food safety