A shortage of food technologists is threatening the food and drink industry, according to Improve.
As the prospective sector skills council for the food and drink industry, Improve said it intended to make tackling the food scientist shortage one of its key criteria for the first year of operation.
It said that increasing awareness of food safety and the stringent requirements made the role of food scientist increasingly important, but little consideration had been given to ensuring a constant supply of food scientists.
Paul Wilkinson, Chairman of Improve, said: “The lack of knowledge about future food scientists is a potential black cloud on the horizon for the food industry.
"We need to act immediately and decisively to counter this threat. We also need to improve food science knowledge among the technical and production support at all levels in manufacturing operations."