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Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 8 July 2009
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Amit Taneja developed an interest in food technology when he was at secondary school. He completed a master’s degree at Massey University and is now working in food product development at Riddet Institute in Palmerston North. Amit finds the work really exciting because it involves all aspects of food technology.

Transcript

Amit Taneja (Riddet Institute)
I did most of my schooling in India, and the education system over there is not very different from here, but I was really interested in the science subjects. So when I moved onto higher secondary, I developed an interest in chemistry because I knew it was my strength. I really wanted to move into something that involved a bit of chemistry.

We had quite a lot of food industries in our area. We had Nestlé, we had Pepsi bottling plant, we had a Coca Cola bottling plant as well, confectionery industries, a few bakeries as well. And our school trips went to places like those. So I always knew there was a food technology field in college, and when I passed out of school, one of my top choices was food technology, and lucky I got into it.

My undergrad degree was more sort of food processing in general, and it didn't have product development type of papers. I finished my undergrad in 2003 and I came to Massey in 2004 to do a master’s, and I took up product development as one of my papers and I did a project on resistant starches and its evaluation in a model food system. So this is really what I wanted to do after I graduated from college, and it came out in the form of a master’s, which is great

Since I've been involved at the Riddet Institute, it’s been really exciting because of the omega-3 products and the whole commercialisation of a new technology that was developed here. Every day, I had something new to do and something more to learn. I was working on the commercial side of things as well, and working with people like Harjinder [Singh] is really an honour because you learn so many new things every day, so it’s been quite a journey.

I'm in the lab doing analysis, I'm in the pilot plant making ice cream and I'm also talking to Speirs Business Development team learning about business as well. So it’s sort of a complete picture of food technology. It’s not just analysis or not just making new products, its the total side of things. That’s what I enjoy the most.

Acknowledgements:
Plant & Food, Lincoln