The food handler chain

About 70% of the money the consumer spends to buy food produced on a farm represents the costs of getting the food from the farm to the table. This requires people who specialize in assembling, inspecting, grading, storing, processing, packaging, distributing, and retailing, to name just a few. A chain is a good way to describe how the food handlers work together. To illustrate how this chain works, let's look at soybean oil, the most common oil found in vegetable oils.

Soybeans are grown and harvested by farmers and then transported to a manufacturer, where they are cleaned, inspected, and processed. Factory workers, food technologists, and food scientists are invovled in processing the soybeans into oil. Then, the soybean oil is blended with other oils to make the vegetable oil. It is packaged, labeled, and then stored at a warehouse. Truck drivers deliver it to grocery stores. Grocery store managers ensure there is enough oil available for the consumer. Finally, the consumer buys the oil and takes it home, where it is further processed as part of a meal.

Food-related careers can be broken down into several categories based on the food handler chain.



Food careers
Food Engineer Designs equipment as needed for the production of a new food product.
Food Processor Prepares and preserves food including canning, freezing, dehydrating, refining, and fabricating food at a food company.
Food Scientist Develops new food products that satisfy the consumers' wants and needs. Also pass goverment and industry standards and inspection.
Food Technologist Applies science and engineering to the manufacturing functions of processing food (production, packaging, distributing, preparation, and utilization).
Market Testing Tests a food product for consumer acceptance.
Nutritionist/Dietitian Determines how much and what kinds of foods and nutritional elements people should have in their diets.
Retailer Sells goods in small quantities directly to the consumer.
Sensory Tester Tests a food product for consumer acceptance based on how it tastes, looks, and smells.
Wholesaler Sells goods in large quantities or bulk at a lower cost to a retailer so it can be resold.

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