Creating foods of the future | Study With New Zealand
The excitement of being able to invent new food products prompted Matthew Yuan to choose food technology as his future career.
Matthew, now in the fourth and final year of a Bachelor of Food Technology degree at Massey University, was impressed by the machinery and other technology he saw during a campus tour at the university’s open day.
“I’ve always been passionate about food, and I thought being able to see and taste the things I made would be so much better than having a desk job,” says Matthew.
He has had numerous opportunities to gain practical experience of food technology.
“For many of our courses, we’ll do one or two weeks of lectures about a product and then we’ll go into the labs and make the product ourselves,” he says.
I’m a hands-on person, so I learn by doing. I’ve really enjoyed going into the labs to make ice cream, cheese or sausages.
In his first year, Matthew worked as part of a team to develop a product that could be made in Vietnam using locally-produced food and processes. In his second year, his team had to invent a food that might be consumed in 2070.
“We were given lots of creative freedom to imagine what technology might be available in the future,” Matthew says.
He has also gained practical skills from having work experience each summer, which has ranged from conducting milk temperature tests in a dairy plant to trying to develop new food products for older people who find it difficult to chew.
Matthew hopes to work in the dairy industry when he finishes his degree, and believes the hands-on experience he has had during his studies will give him a head start in the job market.
About the contributors
Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student.