“There is a significant increase in the demand for natural and healthy food products among consumers, and the food industry is constantly trying to meet those demands,” said Dr. Sunil Mangalassary, an assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Nutritional Science at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an anticipated uptick in the number of jobs for food scientists will occur primarily in private industry, where there is a marked push to advance the development of quality nourishment.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Sunil Mangalassary)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Sunil Mangalassary)

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Mangalassary said employment likelihood for innovative food scientists throughout metro L.A. is ripe for the picking within a smorgasbord of labor variants.

“There are many different types of small and large-scale food manufacturing and processing industries in and around Los Angeles, in addition to a variety of food service and restaurant businesses,” said Mangalassary, who spearheads the institution’s Food Science and Technology Bachelor of Science program. “There are also job opportunities in the areas of food inspection and regulations at such federal agencies as the USDA and FDA.”

How is CSULA readying prospective food scientists?

“Our mission is to train students for careers in the areas of research, food safety, preservation, quality assurance, regulations, packaging and new product development. We also prepare them for graduate studies in food science.”

What defines an accomplished food scientist?

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“A successful food scientist must possess problem-solving ingenuity, innovative approaches in all aspects of the job, and an ability to master advanced technological skills and new project management proficiency.”

How does one secure a lasting vocation in this field?

“In order to have a sustainable career, it is important to acquire new skills, get additional certifications and learn about new opportunities through constant professional networking.”

What is your advice to prospective food scientists?

“If you choose to pursue a career in food science, you will be entering into an exciting field where you will find many opportunities to apply your knowledge, be scientifically creative and have fun every day at work. Most important, you will be part of a system that provides safe, delicious and healthy food to the public.”

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Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.