What Jobs Can I Get With an Applied Food Science Degree?

Whether you’re in your first year of an applied food science program or you’re getting ready to enter the business world, you might be considering potential career opportunities. This program provides students with ample room to get involved not only in the culinary field but biology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry.  Let’s explore some potential careers related to food science. 

Food Scientist

A food scientist combines chemistry, microbiology, and engineering to study food processing and deterioration. The main objective of this position is to apply scientific research to food and then translate findings into defined project goals. 

Some key responsibilities of the food scientist include:

  • Determining how to distribute, process, and preserve food in a healthy way
  • Ensuring all food safety protocols have been followed
  • Checking raw ingredients for stability and maturity
  • Collaborating with packaging specialists, engineers and plant operators on product development
  • Improving food flavor, texture, chemical composition, and nutritional value

Most food scientists work for the federal government, at research universities, food production facilities or private offices. 

food science student sprinkling salt on food

Food Technologist

Many students who graduate with an applied food science degree become food technologists. This position is responsible for product development, reviewing and approving nutritional data, and making sure food is accurately labeled. 

A food technologist is also responsible for the following: 

  • Improving and modifying existing recipes for companies and organizations
  • Choosing products from suppliers
  • Providing enhanced processing and packaging procedures
  • Monitoring the amount of additives used in products

Food technologists utilize an assortment of research equipment such as tenderometers, texture analyzers, and probes along with processing machinery and hygiene equipment. Food technologists often work for food manufacturing companies and are typically in the lab conducting research. 

student in food science lab

Sensory Scientist

Studying applied food science is an excellent way to prepare for a career as a sensory scientist. Sensory scientists play a huge role in the culinary field by researching how consumers see, taste, feel, hear, and smell foods. 

Sensory scientists work with prototypes, lab samples, and new food products during the development stages to help improve or create the products. In order to create appropriate tests, sensory scientists may need to work with other departments such as product developers and marketers to fully understand the product. Once the test has been completed, another meeting usually takes place with the same departments so they can understand the test outcome. 

close up photo of hands putting dessert together

Brewing Technologist

Similarly to a food technologist, brewing technologists often have a background in applied food science and have strong scientific and research skills. Their main duty is to convert malted barley and grains into beer as well as add yeast, hops, water and additional ingredients during the brewing process while closely monitoring the pH values and temperature.

Additional responsibilities of brewing technologists are:

  • Checking beer quality before and after filtration
  • Checking beer quality after packaging
  • Test samples as the beer matures in conditioning tanks
  • Experimenting with ingredients and flavors to produce new beer

Brewing technologists are particularly knowledgeable about brewery machinery, raw materials used for brewing, chemistry, microbiology, sterilization techniques, and quality control. 

brewing class in the lab

Food Quality Assurance Manager 

Quality assurance is a crucial responsibility at any company, especially when it comes to food safety. Food quality assurance managers not only set quality standards but they are responsible for testing methodology, strategy, and quality. 

Food quality assurance managers are advanced in areas such as microbiology, food science, or chemical engineering. They’ll need these skills to compute formulas using mathematical and chemical procedures. 

Food quality assurance managers are also responsible for:

  • Taking samples of contaminated materials
  • Providing reports from test results
  • Coordinating external quality audits
  • Creating training programs to teach employees about food safety

Companies usually seek out candidates with strong analytical skills and attention to detail. Earning a degree in food science or a similar field provides candidates with a good grasp of this field. 

two applied food science students taking a sample in the lab

About JWU’s Applied Food Science Degree

JWU’s applied food science program teaches students how preservation, processing, packaging, and distribution help keep food nutritious and safe. Professors work with students to teach them how to enhance existing products and create new ones. 

Sample Applied Food Science Courses 

  • Sensory Analysis
  • Principles of Food Microbiology
  • Product Research & Development
  • Food Ingredients & Formulations
  • Fermentation Science & Functional Foods

Through classrooms and labs students learn about food chemistry and analysis, food safety and microbiology, food processing and more. Click below to learn why students love our applied food science program!

Learn More About JWU's Applied Food Science Degree