Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences

Open journal

ISSN 2377-8350

Food Scientists Today

Cheryl Reifer*

Cheryl Reifer, PhD, RD, LD

Research Scientist, Department of Nutrition – R & D Genesis Pure, Inc. 7164 Technology Drive, Suite 100 Frisco, Texas 75033, USA, Tel. 469.213.2938; 469.853.2832,
E-mail: creifer@genesispure.com

Food products are consumed daily by the average American. These products are the result of extensive food research conducted by food and agricultural scientists. These scientists improve the safety and efficiency of agricultural products and establishments. According to the Institute of Food Technology, food science encompasses many disciplines, such as biochemistry, chemical engineering and biology in an effort to better understand food processes to creative innovative products for the food industry and the home cooks. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 under the category of Agricultural and Food Scientists, the median pay was $60,690 per year, or $29.18 per hour with entry-level education of a Bachelor’s degree.1,2 According to the Institute of Food Technology 2013 Employment and Salary Survey Report, the median salary in the U.S. is about $90,000, up 3.4% from 2011.3 The Institute of Food Technology (IFT) is a professional organization that promotes the latest information about the science of food, offers continuing education programs, and assists in knowledge on changes happening in the food industry.

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has created a public education campaign called World Without Food Science™ to create awareness of the purpose of food science in ensuring a safe, abundant and nutritious food supply. This initiative is to assist the public in making informed decisions about daily food choices through an understanding of where their food comes from. The IFT provides online consumer tips for the consumer at www.iftfoodfacts. org. 4 Such sites educate consumers in the vital role that food science and technology play, such as enhancing the ability to keep food fresh, tasty, and appealing; control of food cost; nutritional accuracy of food; a decrease in food preparation time; food safety standards; and food availability.

Food sustainability is important, and according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the main sources of pressure on the environment are food consumption, production trends and patterns; fundamental changes in the manner in which food is processed, produced, transported and consumed are indispensable in achieving sustainable development.5 According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 795 million people around the globe do not have access to an adequate supply of nutritious and safe food. The United Nations (UN) predicts that the worldwide demand for food will increase 60 percent by 2050, with the world population growing between about 9 and 10 billion in that same time period. According to the estimates of some experts, it may take as much innovation in agriculture over the next 40 years as it has in 10,000 proceeding years to meet the growing food demand.6 The market for opportunity for food scientists is needed to keep up with the growing population and demand and to savor a safe and nutritious food supply.

1.Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Agricultural and Food Scientists. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/lifephysical-and-social-science/agricultural-and-food-scientists.htm 2015; Accessed December 21, 2015.

2.Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Sustainable food consumption and production. Available at: http://www.fao.org/ag/ags/sustainable-food-consumption-and-production/en/ 2015; Accessed December 21, 2015.

3. Institute of Food Technologists. Discover information, education, and interaction. What is food science and technology? Accessed on December 21, 2015. Available at: http://www.ift.org/knowledge-center/learn-about-food-science/what-is-food-science. aspx 2015; Accessed December 21, 2015.

4. Institute of Food Technologists. World without food science.
Available at: http://www.ift.org/knowledge-center/learn-about-foodscience/world-without-food-science.aspx 2015; Accessed December 21, 2015.

5. USDA. United States Department of Agriculture. 2015 Dietary Guidelines: giving you the tools you need to make healthy choices. Posted by Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Burwell, on October 6, 2015. Available at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/10/06/2015-dietary-guidelines-giving-you-the-tools-you-need-to-make-healthy-choices/ 2015; Accessed December 21, 2015. More information available at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/10/06/2015-dietary-guidelines-giving-you-the-tools-you-need-to-make-healthy-choices/#sthash.ok2ZW5bj.dpuf 2015; Accessed December 21, 2015.

6. USDA. United States Department of Agriculture. Working together to address global insecurity.
Available at: http://blogs.usda. gov/2015/12/02/working-together-to-address-global-food-insecurity/ 2015; Accessed December 21, 2015.

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