Many options on platter

By Ranjan K Baruah

Food is an integral part of life. From basic needs of self-cultivating or producing it has moved to commercial spaces and now the food industry is one of the leading industries in the country.
The Indian food industry is marching towards huge growth, increasing its contribution to world food trade every year. In India, the food segment has emerged as a high-growth and high-profit segment due to its enormous probable for value addition. The government through the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is making all efforts to encourage investments in the business. It has approved proposals for joint ventures, foreign collaborations, industrial licences and 100 per cent export-oriented units.
The Indian food and grocery market is the world’s sixth largest with retail contributing 70 per cent of the sales. The Indian food processing industry accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total food market and it is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. When we are talking about food industry in the country then we should also look at the career avenues in this sector. One of the areas of study in this sector is taking up courses related to food technology.
Food technology deals with the techniques involved in production, processing, preservation, packaging, labelling, quality management and distribution of food products. The field also involves techniques and processes which are used to transform raw materials into food.
In the same way, food engineering is a multidisciplinary field that combines microbiology, applied physical sciences, chemistry and engineering for food and related industries. Food engineering includes, but is not limited to, the application of agricultural engineering, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering principles to food materials. Food engineers provide the technological knowledge transfer essential to the cost-effective production and commercialization of food products and services.
Food engineering encompasses a wide range of activities. Food engineers are employed in food processing, food machinery, packaging, ingredient manufacturing, instrumentation, and control. Few courses in this sector are Food Process Engineering, Food Science and Technology, Food Safety and Quality Assurance and Food Technology, among others.
Students having science stream in senior secondary may choose these courses which are offered by different institutes. Indian Institute of Technology also offers M Tech in Food Process Engineering, M Tech in Food Science and Technology. Central Food Technological Research Institute is one of the premier institutes in India offering courses. It also puts more emphasis on research.
IIFPT: Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) is a pioneer Research and Educational Institution under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India. IIFPT offers BTech, MTech and PhD programmes in Food Process Engineering and MTech programmes in Food Science and Technology and PhD in Biotechnology.
NIFTEM: National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management was conceptualised by Government of India as per demand of the food industry to have an apex body to bring solution for the various problems in this sector. It offers B Tech Programme as well as M Tech Programme which includes specialisation like Food Supply Chain Management, Food Safety and Quality Management, Food Process Engineering Management, Food Plant Operations Management, Food Technology and Management. It also offers PhD programme.
Students of food technology can take up jobs in different spheres such as hospitals, restaurants, food processing companies, catering establishments, soft drink manufacturing firms, spice, cereal and rice mills, quality control organisations, food research laboratories and packaging industries.

(The author is a career mentor,
motivational speaker and skill trainer and can be reached at 8473943734 or
[email protected])

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