Food processing technicians can choose to work in one of several areas. They may work with specific foods such as dairy or meat products, undertaking routine analytical testing of raw materials and finished products under controlled conditions. Routine testing includes microbiological tests (used to ensure food is safe to consume) and chemical testing (used to gauge the chemical composition, or additives in food).
Other food processing technicians may choose to work in a particular area of food production such as research and development, quality control, food laboratory analysis or production supervision. What's New! In research and development, food processing technicians help to develop new processing methods and improve current products or create new ones. They repeatedly test and monitor new foods for their microbial content, nutritional value and flavour and appearance before arriving at the final product. Before testing commences, technicians set up a testing station and decide on the most effective testing methods. A wet, analytical testing method installed with an infra-red detector is commonly used to test new ice-cream products for instance. The introduction of automated testing equipment continues to enhance the types of tests carried out in food processing. According to one particular Technical Services Manager, this will continue to lead to shorter turnaround times when producing test results and greater control and efficiency by technicians.