There are five senses in the human body: smell, touch, vision, hearing, and taste. For early humans, the taste was significant for survival, as it helped them pick food that was safe to eat. Flavor chemistry deals with improving the flavor of food via a scientific approach.
India is known around the world for its spices and food. A career in flavor chemistry is a much sought-after course in India and even around the globe.
About Flavor Chemistry
These are scientists, also known as ‘Flavourists’. They use scientific and analytical studies of the chemical composition of spices and their reaction to the human digestive system to improve food quality via experimentations and research. Flavor chemists are concerned with the components in food that contribute to making food tastier. Graduates of Food Science, Chemistry, and Biology can pursue a career in flavor chemistry.
Careers in the Flavor Industry
A flavor chemist has many flavourful choices in the food industry. Some attributes of a career in the flavor industry are:
- Diverse work field: Government and private organisations work together to research flavor and food quality enhancement programmes.
- Great opportunity for science students: Biochemists or Graduates of Food Science, Biology, and Chemistry can pursue and flourish in this field.
- Good salary: Flavour scientists are paid highly in India and across the globe.
- Respectful field: The job of a flavor chemist is respectful. Being a new field, flavor chemists are rare and difficult to find.
How to become a flavor chemist?
You need a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science, Biology, Chemistry, or related fields in India, followed by an extensive training and testing programme if you want to become a flavor chemist. Outside India, an aspirant has to undertake a seven-year apprenticeship period approved by the Society of Flavour Chemists.
An aspirant should have a good memory, mathematical skills and a good sense of taste and smell.
Many international companies such as Nestle, Parle Agro, and Nuvanto Biosciences hire flavor chemists on a good package. Flavor chemist’s salary varies from Rs 5-7 lakh per annum in India and USD 108,000-580,000 in the United States of America. Government agencies in every country hire individuals to work as flavor scientists.
A flavor chemist’s job is to use their scientific prowess to break down food and determine its chemical composition. They work in specialised laboratories and farm fields to develop new food sources to create new flavor blends and techniques to preserve food while keeping it healthy and safe for consumption. They use chemical means to improve the quality of food and beverages and even try to mimic the cooking process of food products via chemical processes.
Degree in Food Science
Many universities in India offer flavor chemistry courses. The best colleges include the University of Delhi, St. Xavier’s College, Loyola College, etc. These courses help students understand the chemical reactions that impact flavor in food, the mechanism behind the flavor formation, flavor-ingredient interactions, and industrial practices to enhance flavor quality.
Getting a degree in food sciences is beneficial for the role of a flavor chemist. It helps gain knowledge about the food and flavor practises before researching.
Degree in Biochemistry
A graduate degree in biochemistry is beneficial for students who aspire to become flavor chemists. Biochemistry deals with the chemical and biological combinations among different organisms and their impact on the ecological system. Biochemistry is divided into three parts; Enzymology, Metabolism, and Structural Biology.
A biochemist deals with studying the chemical breakdown of enzymes, proteins, and fats. This further helps understand the mechanisms of biological processes, which are essential in flavor chemistry. Top colleges like Hansraj College, Hindu College, and many more offer the best biochemistry course in India. Learn more about the top five colleges for biochemistry in India!
With increasing demands for students from Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics, many degrees enable an individual to become a flavor chemist. The following degrees also enable an individual to become a flavor chemist:
- Degree in Biology: An undergraduate degree in Biology helps understand the biological processes and interactions in the human body, which is a great advantage for research in flavor chemistry.
- Degree in Chemistry: The basis of all reactions inside the human body is chemical. Hence, proficiency in chemistry helps to understand the working and impact of chemicals in flavors.
- Degree in Agriculture: Agriculture is the ultimate model for growing spices and ingredients. Professional knowledge of agriculture can help understand the basic morphology of different spices and ingredients, which is very beneficial in the flavor industry.
- Degree in Biotechnology: Genetically modified species of plants that are rich in flavor and nutrients are the result of biotechnological research. Therefore, having a degree in this field is very beneficial for flavor chemistry research.
Recommended Read: 10 Lucrative Careers in the STEM Domain that You Can Pursue
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