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8 Food Industry Jobs You Can Apply For Even If You Can Only Cook Instant Noodles


Food manufacturing jobs in Singapore

 

cover image for food industry article

Adapted from source

Too many cooks will spoil the broth because the food manufacturing industry needs more than just cooks to thrive. If you have the necessary scientific skills, creativity and a love for food that transcends the boundaries of the kitchen, the food manufacturing industry needs you.

There are alternative jobs in the food manufacturing industry that don’t require any Masterchef skills to bring food through the long arduous journey from its origins as mere ingredients to the well-plated dish in front of your eyes - here are 10 of them:

 

1. Bestow the best beer upon the world as a master brewer

 

To a beer connoisseur, the first pint of beer will decide whether it’s going to be a good night or a great night. Be it weiss (white) or dunkel (dark), there is a top standard of beer that needs to be maintained and it starts from the brewery.

time lapse of a brewery

A day in the life of a master brewer. Source: @thehandandmalt

Put your knowledge of all-things-beer and food microbiology to good use as a master brewer, where you’ll have the important role of ensuring quality standards of ingredients go into the brewing process. It’s not sorcery when the beer turns out fine, but instead the artful use of your microbial knowledge applied to the foundations of making beer - fermentation.

With every step of the brewing process at the back of your hand, you’ll know how to produce top quality beer products while keeping it cost efficient and safe to drink.

You can’t always be producing the same common fruit-flavoured craft beer, so you will have to research and develop new secret beer recipes that stand out from the rest, like Tiger Radler and Guinness’ beer gao.

Core Skills:

  • Knowledge in food microbiology
  • Good organisational, planning and brewery management skills
  • Good communication (written and verbal)
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Familiarity with ISO 9001:2008 management standard will be advantageous
 

2. Invent the next unique ice cream flavor that Singaporean foodies will clamor for

 

singaporean dishes turned ice cream

Chilli crab flavoured ice cream was not just created by someone having the sudden burst of inspiration to make ice cream taste like Singapore’s national dish. Chances are, a flavour application technologist had a huge part to play in the success of producing such a crazy dessert.

Flavour application technologists put themselves through constant taste tests and conduct experiments to discover new flavours that can work to add diversity to a single type of food. Having to eat so much food is a surmountable task, so they’ll need the aid of a sensory scientist.

sensory scientists use this to grade food

Source: @angie.thomps

As a sensory scientist, knowing what makes a certain dish the best food ever is something you’ll have down to a science. Through senses like odour, taste, touch, sight and even hearing, you can determine what dishes will appeal to foodies the most.

Sensory scientists have even used their skills to aid health-conscious Singaporeans in the war against diabetes. The Polar Puffs cakes you have now may still be as toothsome as before, but they’ve actually been made with less sugar - as much as 70% less.

Core Skills:

  • Expert knowledge in different sensory evaluation methodologies
  • Good knowledge in statistics
  • Computer skills on dedicated sensory software and statistical tools
  • Attention to details
 

3. Don your lab coat and keep everyone safe from diarrhoea

 

use science to make food safe to eat

Source: @sgfoodmakers

One of the biggest fears of food manufacturers is a crackdown by authorities after multiple complaints of food poisoning. But by having food chemists as the first line of defence, this snafu can be duly avoided.

As a food chemist, you won’t be spending your time mixing hydrogen peroxide and sodium iodide - instead, you’ll be behind the scenes using chemistry to devise new methods to detect contaminants in food products that might be harmful to human beings.

New product development specialists also have a hand in ensuring our packed food will not leave us spending hours on a toilet bowl.

Core Skills:

  • Experience in using LC-MSMS and GC-MSMS
  • Logical and investigative
  • Methodical
 

4. Get paid to play with food as a food technologist

 

new flavours of instant noodles

Revolutionary flavours of instant noodles! Source

As kids, mums will always tell us not to play with food. And if you have always found difficulty in controlling your itchy fingers, then you’ve probably found your true calling - being a food technologist.

By finding new ways different ingredients interact with each other to make improvements to old recipes, food technologists can help come up with the next groundbreaking recipe, just like the new range of pasteurised fresh noodles - which include local favourites like Hokkien Noodles and Laksa Noodles - that food technologists have helped Kang Kang noodles develop the new line of products under the new branding.

You wouldn’t want these new recipes to be just revolutionary on the surface, so you’ll also need to use ingredients that will aid food preservation, making these food products last longer but still maintain healthy properties.

Food technologists will also be involved in the development and design of new packaging - away with plain, old cardboard cereal boxes and plastic tupperware.

Core Skills:

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Data-analysis
 

5. Delve into the psychology of design to create enticing food packaging

 

attractive packaging to make people want to buy

Crystal sugar sticks that come in bright, attractive packaging. Source: @sgfoodmakers

With a good grasp on what makes food look so good, a digital marketer has the skills to entice people with just a picture. This is the reason why the newest McDonald’s burger gets sold out so quickly - people start snatching it up because it looks simply delectable on the menu. Using digital analytics will also help predict the latest food trends, which you can use to your advantage to promote a new product.

If you’re always taking nice food pictures to post on Instagram, you’ve got half of what it takes to be a digital marketer. Besides being adept in social media, you’ll have to devise branding and marketing strategies to come up with the perfect campaigns. After all, you’ll need to reach the hermits who don’t use Facebook and Instagram.

Core Skills:

  • Good eye for design
  • Creativity
  • Digital analytics
 

6. Make food production more efficient by working with robots

 

machines making chocolate chips

Robots making chocolate chips. Source: @sgfoodmakers

If you’re hoping for burgers to one day rain down from the sky, you should take the first step by becoming a food process engineer. You won’t immediately be able to invent a food-making weather machine, but you’ll spend enough time innovating to achieve that goal one day.

Designing a machine that folds xiao long bao or chops spaghetti are all borne from the mind of a food process engineer who is responsible for finding feasible solutions to problems that deter efficiency in the production line - like making sure machines don’t spontaneously combust into flames! You can also apply productivity lean concepts to continuously improve the business processes.

Core Skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Productivity and Lean application
  • Technical and practical skills
  • Analytical and research skills
 

7. Bring local tastes to homesick Singaporeans continents away

 

ba kwa in japan

Bee Cheng Hiang in Japan. Source: @beechenghiangjapan

It’s always a joy to have a whiff of home when I walk past the familiar sight of a Bee Cheng Hiang in a foreign land. But household Singaporean brands don’t just fall from the sky into the supermarkets halfway across the world. It is through the constant efforts of business development executives to push these local brands overseas.

As business developments overseas are on the rise, you can ride on this zeitgeist of export culture and take part in the global expansion of Singapore’s food companies.

Making deals with international companies, staring down the stiff competition overseas and organising Singapore food festivals are just a few of the many things you’ll do in the field of food business developments.

Core Skills:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Collaboration skills
  • Negotiation and persuasion skills (think “win-win”)
  • Project management skills
 

8. Ensure the supermarket lives up to its super-prefix

 

Picture a supermarket that looks straight out of a post-apocalyptic movie - empty shelves, expired food and your favourite snacks all out of stock. Thankfully, supply chain managers prevent this from happening by maintaining a constant supply of supermarket goods.

taking count of everything in the store is no mean feat

Source: @sgfoodmakers

On a normal day, you’ll most likely only see supply chain managers going through the routine of making sure the shelves are well-stocked. Behind the scenes, supply chain managers are also responsible for the purchase of raw materials, the production line, logistics in shipments of new supply of produce and managing the timely distribution of products across all chains.

Core Skills:

  • Project management skills
  • Value chain analysis
  • Cost accounting
  • Understanding of e-business and e-procurement systems
  • Problem solving skills
 

Diverse fields in the food industry

 

there is more to do in the food industry than just cooking

Source

Food isn’t all about having the Masterchef skills to whip up the best sous vide chicken. It takes more than just a chef to produce the top grade dishes, especially when there’s a greater demand for ready-made, off-the-shelf kinds of food.

Just studying the science and nutritional facts of food will get mundane, but applying it in the industry will have countless promising opportunities for fun. You get to play around with ingredients and recipes, get creative, and invent something revolutionary - maybe the next uniquely Singaporean flavoured smoothie!

If you’re an interested student who wants to try a hand at working in the food manufacturing industry, approach your friendly lecturers to explore an internship opportunity or visit the SME Talent Programme website for more information.

Find out more about jobs in the food manufacturing industry here!


This post was brought to you by Singapore Food Manufacturers' Association.

 

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