Food Engineer

Help improve the design, packaging, and quality of food products.

What does a Food Engineer do?

The grocery store is a hop, skip, and jump from most houses, and the store shelves are lined with a vast array of canned, bagged, and boxed products that make food preparation quick and easy. And it’s all thanks to food engineers, one group of professionals who create and test foods, and bring them to market.

As a food engineer, you work in a field of science that overlaps with the work of food scientists and food technologists. All these roles share the overarching goal of producing a safe and plentiful food supply for the world—both now and for the future. While food scientists perform research, evaluate nutritional content, and create theories about products and techniques, food technologists aim to adapt those theories and put them into practice. In contrast, your responsibility as a food engineer is to focus on packaging techniques, processing, and improving food quality.

You find ways to package goods so that they remain fresh and safe for a longer period. That might mean creating a bag for lettuce, a crate for tomatoes, or a glass jar for baby food. Outside of the packaging realm, you investigate food additives and processing techniques that serve the same goal of longevity. For example, food engineers certainly had a hand in creating flash-frozen meats and freeze-dried bananas.

Food engineering is a vast field that encompasses everything from machines used in the manufacturing plant to storage systems on transport trucks. Who knows—you just might meet that goal of ending world hunger!