Published on August 19th, 2020 📆 | 8210 Views ⚑0
Degree in food technology may offer a global career
The union government has set a target of achieving 3% of international food trade in the coming years from the current levels of 1.5%.
“The food processing sector is growing globally. Skilled professionals are in great need starting from a food collection, transit, supply chain management, processing, value addition, cold chain management and up to consumer end. A meagre 1% growth rate in food processing industries will lead to 5 lakh direct and 15 lakh indirect employments,” says C Anandharamakrishnan, director, Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.
India, despite being the third largest producer of all foods including pulses, milk, tea, all spices in the world after China and USA, struggles with the lack of technical workforce, fewer ventures in food processing businesses, huge losses and so on in food processing sector.
The food production, says Anandharamakrishnan is dependent on the agro climatic conditions of the country. However, in order to bridge the gap lean season, the food processing industry can play a major role during the glut season.
Need for food technology course
Considering the vital importance of post-harvest processing and value addition, says Anandharamakrishnan, India needs developed, skilled technical manpower for achieving the targets.
Sustained food security for all, safe food supply at grass root levels, reduced food losses and economic prosperity of farmers are major targets of the sector. “With this fact, a student with BTech in Food Technology has great scope and opportunities for better employment opportunities, or to become an entrepreneur,” he adds.
Types of courses, admission
Currently, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology offers four-year BTech (Food Technology), MTech in Food Process Engineering, MTech in Food Process Technology, MTech in Food Safety and Quality Assurance, PhD in Food Process Engineering and PhD in Food Science & Technology.
Admission to BTech UG programme is offered based on All India Ranke of JEE (Main) 2020 Paper-I through Central Seat Allocation Board. Admission to MTech programme is offered based on performance in entrance examination conducted by the IIFPT and undergraduate marks. Entrance exam and personal interview is conducted by the institute for admission to PhD courses.
After gaining higher education in Food Technology, candidates can seek employment opportunities in fruit beverage company, ready- to- eat and snack food companies, soft drinks companies, baking and Confectionery industries, biscuits manufacturing plants, non alcoholic/alcoholic beverage industries, dairy and meat industries, spice processing industries and food-based research and development institutions.
“Other than jobs, candidates can also become an entrepreneur in food processing start-ups and grow as potential as the graduate,” he adds.
Food process engineering vs food process technology
Literally, there is no difference between food process engineering and food process technology courses. “In previous years, there were different academic programmes offered in different names across the country. But, from the last year, the program name was made uniform as BTech (Food Technology) in all ICAR accredited institutions throughout the country,” adds Anandharamakrishnan.
With government announcing Rs 1185.90 lakh to fund start-ups in food technology and other areas, industry is hopeful that it will stimulate the sector and attract more new entrepreneurs and start-ups particularly in food processing based SMEs.
“It will increase credit availability and liquidity flow in food processing sector which aid the existing manufacturer in food processing sector. Thus, lead to new employment generation in this sector,” he adds.
Also, under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), in partnership with the state and UT governments has launched an all India Centrally Sponsored PM Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises Scheme (PM FME Scheme) for providing financial, technical and business support for upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises. The scheme envisages an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25.