Why would I need a food engineer to develop a product

Why would I need a food engineer to develop a product

Why would I need a food engineer to develop a product? What does he do?

What a food engineer is doing ? It is a question I’ve asked even before I started my B.Sc studies of food engineering, to understand if it is really what I thought…
Fortunally, what I thought was not only correct, but much more exciting! Because there are so many fields of interests in food, the professional depth, the ability to combine between science and the appliance on production lines, it is endless, and demand professionalism and expertise both production lines and raw materials.

A food engineer, can be in charge of product lines – often called a line technologist. In this role, the focus is more on the equipment and instrumentation, the control and supervision of the processes. Most often, in factories, the line technologist is required to optimize the line, troubleshoot, along with the mechanical engineering and quality assurance teams to ensure ongoing, proper and efficient production of the line and product.
In start-up companies, experience as a line technologist is required not only to match the right equipment, but also to think ahead in terms of future development capabilities for different products – the engineering flexibility to which the line will be required in the future.

Food engineer, is also developing a product at R&D department and is being responsible for assembling the product from the early beginning brief to its final stage – launch to market. The role name is usually “a development engineer”, or “development technologist”. Depending on the different responsibilities that are given in this role, the food engineer is present in forums along with the marketing people who are brainstorming and inventing an innovative product. After the brainstorming phase, when an idea is formed into a defined product, the role of the technologist / development engineer, is to implement and execute, prepare a prototype according to the defined brief and continue in R&D work. All this, with knowledge and understanding of the raw materials and production feasibility on the production lines.

The food engineer throughout the development is also responsible for the product label, nutritional values, list of ingredients and any information listed on the label. This is based on an understanding of the various food standards, the interpretation of the law, and production process according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health regarding the various products.

A food engineer is also responsible for the quality of the product, and therefore is in direct and continuous contact with the quality assurance departments and the tasks usually divided between the quality assurance technologist and the development technologist.
As a result of all the explained above, it is understood that a contact with all plant departments is necessary! From marketing and product definition, purchasing department to verify the availability of raw materials, quality assurance department to examine the quality and safety of the developing product, operations and production departments to packaging and engineering departments.
In different factories, such roles are sometimes combined into one role with lateral responsibilities.

An experienced food engineer, will lead the development and production from the concept stage to the end, to a defined product that includes packaging and label, through all the relevant departments and required considerations.