What’s the difference between a Food Designer and a Food Technologist ?

I have been working on a couple of diverse food related projects over the last few weeks and during initial consultations this has been a question that comes up….so what is the difference? Here is my simplified interpretation…

Food technologists study the basic elements of food, they analyze the nutritional components of food, research alternative additives or improvements for food and develop ways to make processed food meet government and industry safety standards. It can be seen as ‘a sector exploring how technology can be leveraged to create efficiency and sustainability in designing, producing, choosing, delivering and enjoying food.’ This is the science of the edible.

Food designers can be involved in a wide range of activities…. designing a food product, designing with food, for food, consumption design, food service, engagement and interaction with food , food systems design, food business and critical thinking around food. As opposed to being science of the edible , this is the meeting point of philosophy, creativity and practicality , it is perhaps the emotion of the edible. Click on the link below the image to see some incredible work being done which (to me) shows exactly those intersections of philosophy, creativity and practicality and how it creates emotion…..

Whilst I don’t get to work on projects quite like the Madrid Design Festival, I do get to use all those same design thinking and skills in my daily work, here is a quick run down of my last few weeks…. helping an startup beverage business with their business plan ( design for food, with food, food service, food systems, food business, engagement and interaction design). Working with an emergent business to brainstorm elements to make their events unique ( designing a food product, food service, consumption design, engagement and interaction design), a fund raiser donation ( design for and with food, food systems, service, consumption design, spatial design, critical food thinking), styling for a photoshoot ( design with and for food, engagement design), recipe development ( product design ), a tasting event (spatial design, engagement and interaction design, product design, design for and with food), planning for a Art event workshop using recipes and food stories ( food design, with and for food, creativity, concept development, practical skills, engagement through food) and finally writing this blog post (critical thinking). I live for this variety !!