School of Food Science and Nutrition

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"Our food industry employs 3.7 million people, contributing almost £90 billion to the economy. But there's a big skills gap across the food chain. The industry must attract more well qualified and ambitious candidates if it is to grow and innovate."

Jim Paice Former Minister of State for Agriculture and Food
Food manufacturing in food science career

Food manufacturing careers

Jobs in food manufacturing are similar to jobs in other manufacturing industries, but with unique challenges because of the nature of the materials used.

Food manufacturing involves the transformation of a set of parts (ingredients) into a single product that can be packaged, transported, stored and sold. 

Different food manufacturing jobs

There are many different types of food products that can be manufactured in the following sectors:

  • Ambient foods (canned or dried products)
  • Baked goods
  • Chilled foods
  • Confectionary (sweets)
  • Dairy products
  • Drinks
  • Fresh produce
  • Frozen food
  • Healthy foods
  • Meat and poultry
  • Seafood

Food processing uses a set of techniques to transform ingredients into food, or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals. 

Food processing usually takes clean, harvested crops or butchered animal products and uses these to create attractive, marketable and often long shelf-life foods.

These techniques may have a long history and tradition (like brewing) or be ultra-modern (like freeze drying or vacuum packing). 

Techniques like canning, which is a method of preserving food, can produce products which last from one to five years, although a freeze-dried canned product can last as long as 30 years. 

Food manufacturing salaries

Food manufacturing salaries range from role to role and sector to sector but the average salary for Chemical Technicians and Quality Control Chemists is £19-21,000, with Production Managers earning in the range £35-45,000.