Food engineering is involved in the life cycle of the UK’s processed food industry, including machinery, packaging and control. In addition it carries out research into new foods and pharmaceuticals, distribution systems and waste treatment amongst other.
This industry is the UK’s large manufacturing sector and accounts for over 15% of UK manufacturing. It employs approximately 500,000 people in the UK across 6,360 businesses.
This industry faces the dual challenges of providing food for an increasing population and a decreasing amount of agricultural land, which is being used for building or providing renewable energy.
The industry is looking at ways to use modern tools and technology, including nanotechnology to engineer new products, whilst quality safety and security are critical issues. It invested more than £1.1bn a year in R & D.