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Food Technologist

Food technologists research, develop and improve food and drink products. They may also be involved in the processing, packaging, storage and safety of food to meet government and industry standards.

What do Food Technologists do at work?

  • Develop new or improve current food.
  • Make test samples of food products and conduct trials.
  • Source and select ingredients for food products.
  • Manage or supervise development and production of food and drinks.
  • Improve efficiency of manufacturing processes.
  • Develop new or improve current food packaging.
  • Ensure food products meet specifications and standards (quality assurance)
  • Investigate the nutritional properties of foods.

Skills and knowledge

  • Food technologists need to have knowledge of:
  • Food and drink products
  • Food processing and production methods
  • Food hygiene and quality standards
  • How to analyse and interpret research results
  • How to perform experiments and operate scientific equipment
  • How to write reports
  • Maths and computer skills.

Entry requirements

  • To become a food technologist most employers require you to have a Bachelor's degree in food technology, food science or food engineering. A Master's degree is preferred.
  • Food technologists often complete on-the-job training programmes for specific products and processes.


  • A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include home economics, maths, physics, chemistry and biology. 
  • Experience in food processing
  • Laboratory work
  • NCEA L3 Maths, Physics, Chemistry

Is this the career for you? Find out more

New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology website - information on tertiary courses