For Hilda Mavhunga, “food is passion, food is love.” But Hilda lives her passion for food in a way that is different from what you’d expect. She is a food technologist. Say what now? Yep, food technologist! It’s one of those professions that few know but that are well integrated into our everyday lives.
“Food is my life, food was my choice, food is my career, food is my love,” says Hilda Mavhunga. And you know that the food industry is the largest in the world, we all need to eat. Yet Hilda doesn’t limit herself to her job as a food technologist. She’s also a model and founder of Vision 30 and Soweto Award for Economic Development. The Soweto Award for Economic Development was started to change the fact that Sowetans feel neglected in South Africa.
Why did you decide to study food technology
I must admit, I had no idea that one could become a food technologist. Some people don’t realise what a major role in the development of food products we play in the global market. The plethora of disciplines in food industry is vast and fascinating. Common products that you purchase each day have been researched, designed and modified by a team of food industry professionals.
As food technologists, we make sure that what you purchase is consistent in quality and most importantly, safe to eat. It draws from many disciplines in an attempt to better understand food processes and ultimately improve food products for general public. It applies food science principles for the selection, preservation, processing, packaging and use of safe food.
Food technology disciplines include food chemistry, food process engineering, food microbiology, food preservation, food packaging, food safety, food technology, new product development and sensory analysis.
I love using science and engineering skills to research and develop food products and to ensure the safety of food supply. Therefore, food technology was an option to quench the thirst of this kind of love.
I decided to be a food technologist because there is nothing more amazing than the chemistry of food and its technology.
Can you tell us a bit about your work and its contribution towards developing countries.
The food industry is one of the largest on the planet. People will always have to eat. The primary objective of food science and technology is to provide crowded populations with the kind and quality of food they demand at all times of the year.
Food processing techniques developed by food scientists ensure that the resources required to produce raw food materials, and ingredients for food manufacturing are used efficiently.Hilda Mavhunga: I love using science and engineering skills to research and develop food products Click To Tweet
What is your favourite dish ?
My favourite dish pap and mogodu.
What do you think is special about the food science industry compared with other scientific industries?
When working in the food industry, you aren’t limited to lab work or a desk job. There is something for everyone, whether it be in quality, Research & Development , sales, e-marketing, manufacturing, teaching or in government.
The food science degree is inherently multidisciplinary, which opens up a myriad of opportunities.We use principles of chemistry, engineering, microbiology and other sciences to ensure food safety and agricultural productivity.
We discover new food sources, analyses nutrition content and finds different ways to process, package and preserve food in an attempt to improve the quality of the food that we eat everyday.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I do modelling sometimes.
I also run two projects; Vision 30 and the Soweto Award for Economic Development.Hilda Mavhunga: We Sowetans often we feel neglected & our aim is to change that Click To Tweet
Tell us about Soweto Award for Economic Development
We Sowetans often we feel neglected and our aim as an organisation is to change that. How so? By recognising talent/challenges, good/bad service delivery around our location. We figure out ways we can empower and be catalysts to turn and improve our locations into a better place where everyone wants to be.
We also want to improve our education system, decrease unemployment rate and have better health services. That’s our mission as Soweto Award for Economic Development.
What kind of sickness have you lied about so you wouldn’t go to work?
I’m so passionate and live my work that I don’t want to miss a second of it.
I never lied about any sickness to miss work.
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