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I want that job! Phillip Tong has one sweet job. He's a dairy scientist who whips up frozen treats.

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WHAT DOES A DAIRY SCIENTIST DO?

Dairy scientists deal with every step of the science and technology of milk products. This ranges from caring for the cow that produces raw milk to delivering dairy foods to consumers. Where I work, at California Polytechnic State University, I research in the lab how to improve the taste and nutrition of dairy products. I also train the next generation of students who want to enter the industry.

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WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

Eating ice cream! Actually, what I enjoy are the people involved in the ice-cream industry. They're very fun and proud of the products they make. They work hard because they know the ice cream is going to be served at a 5-year-old's birthday party or another special occasion.

WHAT'S THE SECRET TO YUMMY ICE CREAM?

We spend a lot of time testing recipes to get the right balance of milk and other ingredients. We also pay attention to how we freeze the ice cream. The trick to creamy ice cream is small ice crystals, so we have to freeze it at just the right temperature.

HOW CAN TEENS PREPARE FOR A CAREER AS A DAIRY SCIENTIST?

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Take lots of science and math courses, including chemistry, engineering, and microbiology. Sharpen your skills in computers and communications. Examine food labels in the grocery store to learn that dairy ingredients are used in every aisle--even for soap! Also, be observant when you eat dairy products. Ask yourself why at one pizza place the cheese is stringy, but at another shop the cheese is oily and melts differently.

HOW MUCH MONEY DOES A DAIRY SCIENTIST EARN?

The entry-level salary for a dairy scientist is $50,000 to $70,000. A plant manager or vice president of a dairy company earns $150,000 to $250,000 annually.

Web extra

Learn about the dairy Industry at: www.moomilk.com

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:CAREERS
Author:Peretsman, Natalie
Publication:Science World
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 11, 2009
Words:321
Previous Article:Hands-on science.
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