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School of Chemical Sciences

Careers for Food Science graduates

Food science graduates can expect to find employment in the food industry (both national and international), Crown Research Institutes, and government agencies in areas such as food manufacture, food safety, food analysis, brewing, cereals and baking, dairy products, minimally processed fruits and vegetables, food additives, product development, sensory evaluation and winemaking.

Graduates of our postgraduate programmes are already employed in:

  • Dairy industry
  • Brewing
  • Food Manufacturing Companies
  • Crown Research Institutes
  • Government agencies
  • Multinational food companies

Some of our recent graduates are profiled below:


Applications Technologist: Lucy Chen

Lucy Chen was first introduced to the world of food science and technology at a careers evening held at Macleans College. “I was immediately drawn to the prospect of understanding food and developing products which could end up on supermarket shelves,” Lucy says.

She chose to study the Food Science BSc degree at The University of Auckland because of the flexibility of courses which she could choose within the degree. The degree encompassed learning about food through multi-discipline perspectives, from microbiology, chemistry to statistics and engineering. Equipped with a solid grounding and understanding of all aspects of food, Lucy entered into the food industry, working as an Applications Technologist at Invita, a food ingredients importer based in Auckland. The job involves helping clients develop new products, as well as presenting innovative product concepts.

“The knowledge I have gained during my studies has given me vital tools to understand existing problems and to find different approaches to solve problems,” Lucy says. “No two days are the same, and it’s the variety that comes with the job, and the excitement of seeing our customers’ products launched successfully that makes every bit of working in this industry worthwhile.”


Analyst: Lucy Wu

Lucy Wu completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) with first class honours in Food Science in 2005. Her research involved producing a novel packaging material for food use by applying nanotechnology. From that, Lucy joined Fonterra under Fonterra’s graduate technical programme where she obtained a Master of Dairy Science and Technology. She is now a Product Mix Analyst at Fonterra in the heart of Auckland. Her current role involves optimising the mix of products that the company produces and allows her to apply the technical knowledge she’s gained to million dollar projects. Lucy chose to major in Food Science as the degree offered variety. She says “You learn about all aspects of the food industry in this degree—from process engineering to clinical nutrition and product development. And more importantly, you meet a lot of different people”. Food Science at the University of Auckland gave her a great start for developing an ongoing career.


DB Breweries: Trevor Ward

Trevor Ward completed his MSc in Food Science at the beginning of 2000. For his degree he completed a research project on caffeine and guarana composition of energy drinks such as V, Red Bull, Jolt and Krank. This was followed by a larger project on measuring the ethylene (the natural ripening gas) at the surface of apples. Using instruments such as high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography was a real help for his present job. Trevor works for DB Breweries in their laboratory helping to maintain the quality and safety of their beers.


Legislation: Selina Banda

Selina works as a consultant on legislation of food products for Cerebos Greggs. With so many challenges occurring because of closer economic ties with Australia in the laws concerning food and food hygiene, the company needs a full time employee to keep them up to date. Selina did her studies in Food Science part time while working as a laboratory technician. For her research project she found ways of keeping fruit bars firm longer while maintaining their natural food ingredients. Selina believes "Success is setting goals for oneself and achieving them. Gaining knowledge is essential to achieve goals that you think may be out of your reach".


New Food Products: My Le Quach and Dimpy Makan

My Le Quach

My Le Quach combined Food Science and Biotechnology. She says " these degrees really helped me learn about applied science as opposed to focussing on pure science". She grew up in Mt Roskill and chose to study at the University of Auckland because it was close to home. For My Le the highlights of studying Food Science and Biotechnology at the University of Auckland were being able to complete a broad range of science projects including sensory science and to be able to meet people from the food industry. My Le is working for Old Fashioned Foods where she does the work she enjoys most, which is developing new food products. This gives her the opportunity to combine her knowledge of Food Science with her creative flair. To quote her " Do not follow in the footprints of others, go ahead and make your own path and leave a trail".


Dimpy Makan

Dimpy Makan completed her MSc in Food Science in 2006 and currently working as a New Product Development Technologist at Cerebos Gregg’s Limited. Her role incorporates making new products and assessing the new and existing raw materials. Dimpy says “Food Science at the University of Auckland has helped her in developing a better understanding of Food Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Processing”, which is directly applicable in her job. For her MSc research she investigated the “Varietal aroma components in white wine” in conjunction with Matua Valley wines. She describes her stay in the University of Auckland as a ‘great learning experience’ and the Food Science programme has helped in achieving her goals.


Research and Development: Ansam Karem

Ansam Karem completed her Postgraduate Diploma of Science in Food Science in 1998 after arriving in New Zealand just over a year before. She enjoyed the variety of subjects covered by the programme. In particular, microbiology, food engineering and biotechnology as well as food processing proved useful for her future work. She also found the weekly seminars and discussions stimulating. Ansam is employed by Cerebos Greggs Ltd where she does Research and Development work on sauces and cooking ingredients. She feels the time in the Food Science programme at the University of Auckland prepared her for "driving" her current projects.