#BeAnAwesome: Food Scientist

Dr Ee Kah Yaw, Assistant Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Food Science in the Faculty of Science at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) talks to coursesmalaysia.com about his life-sustaining career.
Dr Ee Kah Yaw
Assistant professor at the Department of Agricultural and Food Science in the Faculty of Science at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

What will I do?

  • Conduct process development trials
  • Communicate results to internal staff(manufacturing process supervisors, production managers and general managers of operations) to support the manufacturing process
  • Develop and maintain database of quality assurance and compliance toquality assurance regulation
  • Develop and implement hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) food safety programmes
  • Perform internal training to all employees on food safety programmes
  • Apply quality control point (QCP)and critical control point (CCP) onsite
  • Perform internal audit
  • Set up laboratory, including purchasing equipment, chemicals,and all necessary materials
  • Develop sampling and testing schedules, prepare analysis methods as well as develop reporting formats and interpretation of analysis results
  • Manage corrective actions, process improvements and auditing projects.

Is it for me?

To be a food scientist you should have:

  • An aptitude for science and maths
  • An interest in food production and preparation
  • A strong attention to detail
  • The ability to work with strict hygiene rules
  • Good communication skills to explain ideas to other scientists and factory staff
  • A confident approach to enforcing regulations and reporting problems
  • The ability to work in a team.

What is the most enjoyable part of the job?

Once you join the food industry, your employer may provide in-house training or a graduate training programme. You may also be encouraged or financially supported to attend external short courses such as the HACCP training programme, good manufacturing practices (ie food handling, hygiene and safety) or sales and marketing training. If your role includes inspecting food premises, you may also need to obtain a qualification awarded by the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) internal auditor training providers.

Who will employ me?

You could work for a range oforganisations involved in food manufacturing, as well as researching and developing of new products, including:

  • Food manufacturers
  • Universities
  • Government or private research establishments
  • Local authorities
  • Retailers and supermarket chains.

How much will I earn?

The salary for a food scientist graduate can range from RM24,000 to RM36,000 per annum. A laboratory and quality assurance manager could earn an average salary of RM70,000 per year. Experience and job responsibility strongly influences the pay. Skills in quality assurance or quality control are associated with high pay in this field.