BS in Food Technology in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Science in Food Technology (BSFT) is a four year degree program which deals with the scientific preparation, processing and distribution of foods. It is also concerned with the improvement of food products’ flavor, appearance, storage qualities as well as in the control of quality changes during processing, marketing and distribution.

The BSFT program is designed to provide students with knowledge in the foundations of food technology associated with raw food materials and production management as well as food science. Students are also taught on how to create food products, ingredients and processing equipment. Although students of the BSFT program are taught basic cooking and food preparation skills, it is not a culinary course.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BSFT curriculum are divided into four main categories:
  • General Education subjects:
    English, Math, Filipino, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Tool Courses:
    Quantitative Chemistry, Qualitative Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, General Biochemistry, Integral Calculus, Differential Calculus, Physics
  • Professional Courses:
    Food Processing, Food Chemistry, Food Analysis, Food Microbiology, Food Packaging and Labeling, Food Laws, Food Engineering, Food Quality Assurance, Food Safety, Environmental Management for food industries, Basic Business Management, Post-harvest handling technology
  • Elective Courses:
    Post-harvest technology, Nutrition, Biotechnology, Business Economics, Chemical Engineering, Marine Science, Agriculture, Marketing/Economics/Entrepreneurship

The BSFT program is taught to students through classroom lectures, laboratory exercises and hands on practicum. Students are also required to complete an On the Job Training (OJT) and an undergraduate thesis related to food and food production.

Is Food Technology a profession?

Food Technology is a profession. The responsibilities of a Food Technologist include:
  • Selecting raw materials and other ingredients from suppliers
  • Evaluating and inspecting suppliers
  • Controlling production hygiene and quality control standards
  • Identifying and choosing products from suppliers
  • Ensuring that stringent food safety standards are met
  • Testing and examining samples
  • Monitoring the use of additives
  • Coordinating launches of new products or running trials alongside/together with product development
  • Generating new food products ideas
  • Preparing product costing based on raw materials and manufacturing costs to ensure profitable products

What are the admission requirements for the BS in Food Technology program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate. Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers
  • College entrance exam: must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college dean/faculty.
(See source)

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Technical skills – the ability to use different tools and equipment to execute proper food preparation, processing and distribution
  • Interest in food – food technology involves creating ingredients, food products and continuously looking for ways to improve the food industry therefore an interest in food is essential.
  • Inclination to science – an interest in basic sciences and chemistry is very important because throughout the program science subjects are integrated.
  • Computer Literacy – computer skills and an aptitude for working with new technology are essential too, for recording, sharing, developing and improving innovative food preparation techniques.
  • Communication skills – since you will often work in group settings such as test kitchens, being able to communicate with different people is important.

How difficult is BS in Food Technology?

BS in Food Technology is a fairly difficult. There are subjects that are easy and there are those that are difficult, for example a few chemistry subjects. Students of the BSFT program spend most of their time learning lessons in the classroom, while being exposed in the laboratory doing hands on exercises. This type of teaching method may be difficult for some students because it greatly increases school workload in a way that they will be studying two lessons at a time; lessons taught in lectures which cover most of the examinations and lessons and procedures taught in the laboratory which are part of the hands on examinations.

How long does it take to complete the BSFT program in the Philippines?

The BSFT program takes four years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

On the Job Training (OJT)

A student of the BSFT program is required to attend an on the job training (OJT) in a food industry company or institution. During the OJT, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The on the job training program is done under the supervision of a faculty member as well as a designated authority in the company. The number of hours required for the OJT is 300 hours (see source).

Career opportunities for BS in Food Technology graduates

  • Entry Level jobs

    Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience:
    • Food Technician – check production processes and product quality, and undertake maintenance and basic repair of equipment.
    • Research Technician – employed in agricultural research organizations, Food and Agro-allied firms to handle food related research work
    • Food Inspector – responsible for ensuring a safe food supply; the primary task of food inspectors is to inspect meat and poultry processing plants, but food inspectors also monitor food-processing plants.
    • Safety Food Controller – monitors compliance with quality standards on production floor to ensure product conforms to specification and food safety practices and assist in documentation involving Food Safety and Good Manufacturing Practices.
  • Mid-Level Positions

    Require trainings and prior job experience of a few years:
    • Food Researchers – apply scientific expertise and technological principles to the study of food products and processes within manufacturing and research settings
    • Product Developer – responsible for developing new products or improving existing products so that the company can meet customers’ needs more effectively
    • Food Operations Officer – ensure that all reporting and control procedures in the operations, customer service, quality of production, hygiene and cleanliness standards, maintenance and general administration are completed and in place according to company’s policy and chain operation manual.
    • Sensory Analyst – perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
    • Food Chemist/Flavorist – uses chemistry to engineer artificial and natural flavors
    • Food Preservationist – work to turn raw goods into finished products for grocers, wholesalers, restaurants, and institutional food services.
    • Food Processing Specialist – use their expertise in food engineering, manufacturing and quality control to establish production processes and activities.
    • Quality Assurance Supervisor – monitor and check quality in food manufacturing and preservation processes in Commercial Farms, Agro allied industries, Food Processing and Packaging Companies, Government food and Health Monitoring Agencies
  • Advanced Positions

    Require years of extensive experience and practice:
    • Product Development Specialist – responsible for researching, developing, and launching new products for a company; responds to company initiatives by driving new products to meet customer needs.
    • Food Technology Consultant – lends their expertise to both private and public food companies for the safe and efficient development, modification and/or manufacture of food products and processes.
    • Food Application Specialist – involved in customer requests, customer projects and projects demanding application capabilities; lead customer and application projects, requests and related customer visits including project presentations and customer trial runs.
    • Food Production Manager – involved with the planning, coordination and control of manufacturing processes. They ensure that goods and services are produced efficiently and that the correct amount is produced at the right cost and level of quality.
  • Jobs not related to food technology that graduates can apply to

    • Food Sales Representative – responsible for selling food products and services to companies for distribution purposes; visits companies, delivers presentations, and takes orders.
    • Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
    • Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
    • Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support, administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills

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Reviews of BS in Food Technology graduates:

K. F.
◈ Studied BS in Food Technology
◈ At University of the Philippines Mindanao
◈ Graduated 2014

list bulletWhy did I choose Food Technology: I've had a particular interest in Chemistry since high school, so I decided to take up Chemical Engineering in UP Diliman and passed it. However, due to circumstances and financial reasons, I opted to study in Davao City particularly in UP Mindanao. UP Mindanao has only nine courses to choose from and upon learning that Food Technology has chemistry as it's foundation course, I decided to pursue it.

list bulletAbout my college education: Food Technology is a very interesting course that touches almost all subjects. It uses the information generated from food science in the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, and distribution, as it affects the consumption of safe, wholesome, and nutritious food. With this, I learned that Food Technology is very useful especially in today's society where issues concerning food security and food safety are becoming rampant. Food Technology doesn't equate to cooking as most people think; it is a lot more beyond that.

I find Biochemistry as the most difficult subject I took (and that was in junior year). Memorizing complex terms and cycles was very challenging, but of course fulfilling.

Passing the exams depended on the standards of the professor. But in general, it was attainable if the student did his/her part. Still, quite a number of students failed in major subjects like General Chemistry, Analytical Geometry and Calculus, General Physics, and Food Engineering. A lot get delayed in their graduation - in my batch, for example, only eight graduated on time out of more or less 40 (a small number shifted to another course, transferred to another school, or stopped schooling).

I believe that succeeding in this course or in any other course requires determination, trust in oneself, and balance. Studying a lot and absorbing every lesson there is doesn't work all the time. This is where balance and knowing your priorities come in - that one should know when to work and when to play. Moreover, one must maintain a positive attitude towards work and towards everyone he/she deals with.

list bulletMy current job: I am still about to start my job as a professor (Instructor 4) at UP Mindanao. Along with the teaching load is a protected time for research, with the goal of publishing a study within one or two years.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job: The Dean offered me this job beforehand, while I was still doing my undergraduate thesis. Fortunately I didn't have (and I didn't want) to apply for another job after graduation.

list bulletAdvice to people who are thinking of studying this course: Make sure that this is what you really want. Don't pursue this course just because your parents want it, or because you think it is all about cooking (a lot of us aren't even close to being chefs, actually). Listen to your heart. And if you think this is really what's meant for you, never give up. Take note that college is a lot different from high school. Don't wallow in gloom when you fail any test, because I tell you, that is normal. Food Technology isn't an easy course, but as long as you don't lose interest and perseverance, you'll realize that you've made the right choice.
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