Food Product Development Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update


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What is Food Product Development?

Product development is the process of bringing a product from concept all the way through to market. Food product development is the development of new or different food products.

Consumers often become bored with products and are quickly distracted by new products. Companies devote large quantities budgets to developing new products in order to stay competitive and satisfy consumer demand. Changes in the law can force food companies to alter their products.

Food Technologists may modify foods to create products such as fat-free items and ready meals and will often work closely with the product development teams to help deliver factory-ready recipes, based on development kitchen samples. Keeping up with ever-changing food production regulations is an essential part of the Food Product Development industry.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Food Product Development courses in the following subject areas:

  • Food Product Development – The study of the development, preparation and presentation of innovative food products.
  • Culinary Innovation and Food Product Development – The study of the science, business and the culinary knowledge to develop food products.
  • Food Safety: Level 1 – Gain an understanding of the basic principles of food and safety
  • Food Safety for Food Manufacturing: Level 2 – The study of the importance of food safety, personal hygiene, safe cleaning, food safety hazards, safe food storage and temperature control.
  • Health & Safety for Food Manufacturing: Level 2 – Gain the knowledge of working in a safe environment within the food manufacturing industry.
  • CK 506 International Development and Food Policy – Gain an understanding of the key areas of Food Policy, Human Rights and Development, Health-related Aspects of Development, and Modern Languages.
  • CK 505 Food Science – The study of the scientific and technical skills designed to meet the needs of careers ranging from research and development to food processing and production.
  • Gastronomy and Food Studies – The study of the History, Society, and Practice of Gastronomy & Food Studies.
  • Handling Food Hygienically FETAC Level 4 – Gain the skills and knowledge mandatory for all personnel working in the food sector.

Studying Food Product Development in college

There are many Food Product Development courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

  • Courses will cover all theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.
  • You could also consider work experience or volunteering in the food manufacturing industry. Try to gain as much practical experience as possible by applying for positions such as summer work as a laboratory technician or on the production line in food companies.
  • Volunteering for projects also provides valuable experience. Technical experience in retail or manufacturing is also valued by potential employers.
  • Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Food Product Development you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of Food technology and manufacturing processes.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full time, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm with the possibility of some extra hours or overtime on occasion. Shift work is very common in the manufacturing sector.

The typical workplace is a factory floor but work may also take place in an office, laboratory or kitchen. Hygiene is very important and the dress code is appropriate to the function, which is normally smart/casual for the office or protective clothing with headwear for laboratory, kitchen and factory work.

Extensive travel within the working day may be required if you work in retail or for a local authority. Travel may be local, national or international and may involve visiting suppliers’ factories for audit or sampling purposes, as well as warehouses and distribution centres. Overnight absence from home may be common in some posts.

Related jobs include:

  • Food technologist
  • Product/process development scientist
  • Quality manager
  • Regulatory affairs officer
  • Nutritional therapist
  • Naturopath
  • Scientific laboratory technician
  • Technical brewer
  • Chef
  • Procurement manager
  • Production manager
  • Research scientist
  • Toxicologist

Further study

After completing a course in Food Product Development you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as nutrition, food science, chemistry, engineering or culinary arts.

FAQ

What are the reasons for developing new food products?

New Product development is a complex process that needs to meet many requirements for success. New products should fill a market requirement based on customer’s preferences and needs. These can be defined to 4 main areas:

  1. New innovation
  2. Demand from a customer (Change of lifestyle, healthy living)
  3. Loss of current market
  4. Market pressure

Where can I study Food Product Development?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Chocolate was first seen in bar form around 1910. Dark chocolate is made from the roasted beans of the cacao tree and has many health benefits. From improving bad cholesterol to lowering blood pressure, helping to reduce stress and improving vision, it’s definitely worth eating a square or two a day. A study by Harvard also found that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day prevented memory decline.
  • The Caesar salad started in a Mexican city called Tijuana. Restaurateur Chef Caesar Cardini was hosting a 4th of July celebration. He ran out of food, and simply threw the ingredients he had lying around the kitchen into a unique salad.
  • Scientists at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany have discovered that since peanut butter is so rich in carbon, it’s possible to turn simple peanut butter into diamonds. By extracting the oxygen from the carbon dioxide found in the peanut spread, and then enacting immense pressure on the carbon left behind it is possible to manufacture peanut butter diamonds.
  • Despite its name, white chocolate doesn’t actually contain any real chocolate components. White chocolate is made up of a blend of sugar, milk products, vanilla, lecithin, and cocoa butter — no chocolate solids.
  • Carmine also known as carminic acid, is a common red food dye made from the crushed carcasses of a beetle. Carminic acid can be found in a variety of foods and even lipstick.

Mariza Halliday

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