The increasing importance of pollution control and energy and resource conservation has created a demand for people trained in food processing waste technology in industry, government, and research institutions. The primary objective of research in this area is to convert byproducts of food processing operations to usable materials. For example, processes using ultrafiltration technology have been developed to concentrate cheese whey proteins for use as food ingredients. Experiments are under way to develop practical methods of converting fruit and vegetable processing wastes into fuels, chemicals, biologicals, and food ingredients.
A background in biology, microbiology, chemistry, food science and technology, or environmental science provides a good base for graduate study in food processing waste technology. Students should structure their graduate programs to expand their knowledge in microbiology, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, engineering, and applicable environmental or other sciences.