Industrial cook


Industrial cooks create new food designs and recipes. They prepare, measure and mix ingredients to prepare foodstuff products. They control and regulate temperatures, monitor cooking process, assign specific baking tasks, and direct workers in task performance.

Excludes cook.
Includes industrial chef.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to industrial cook:

catering worker
catering cook
institutional cook
institutional food preparation worker

Minimum qualifications

A High school diploma is generally required to work as an industrial cook.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Industrial cook is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Industrial cook career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to industrial cook.

chilling operator
fruit and vegetable preserver
fish canning operator
blender operator
fruit and vegetable canner

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of industrial cook. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of industrial cook with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

food technician
food analyst
green coffee coordinator
dairy processing technician
animal feed supervisor

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of industrial cook.

  • Combination of flavours: The large range of combinations of flavours to develop new recipes or products.
  • Combination of textures: The combination of textures for new recipes or products.
  • Food storage: The proper conditions and methods to store food to keep it from spoiling, taking into account humidity, light, temperature and other environmental factors.
  • Food allergies: The types of food allergies within the sector, which substances trigger allergies, and how they can be replaced or eliminated (if possible).
  • Functional properties of foods: Structure, quality, nutritional value and/or acceptability of a food product. A food functional property is determined by physical, chemical and/or organoleptic properties of a food. Examples of a functional property may include solubility, absorption, water retention, frothing ability, elasticity, and absorptive capacity for fats and foreign particles.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of industrial cook.

  • Maintain cutting equipment: Maintenance of the cutting equipment (knives, cutters, and other elements).
  • Ensure sanitation: Keep workspaces and equipment free from dirt, infection, and disease by removing waste, trash and providing for appropriate cleaning.
  • Research new food ingredients: Assess new food ingredients by undergoing research activities in order to develop or improve foodstuffs.
  • Handle kitchen equipment according to the requirements: Knowing and handling a variety of kitchen instruments and equipment. Choosing the right tool for the purpose and the raw material. Trim, peel, and slice products with knives, paring tools, or food cutting tools.
  • Keep inventory of goods in production: Keep inventory of goods whether they are goods in the front end (i.e. raw materials), intermediate, or back end (i.e. finished products). Count goods and store them for the following production and distribution activities.
  • Apply flame handling regulations: Apply laws and organisation rules for the safe storage and use of flammables.
  • Collect samples for analysis: Collect samples of materials or products for laboratory analysis.
  • Bake goods: Perform all tasks for baking such as oven preparation and product loading, until the baked goods are discharged from it.
  • Apply HACCP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • Analyse trends in the food and beverage industries: Investigate trends in foodstuffs related to consumers preferences. Examine key markets based on both product type and geography as well as technological improvements in the industry.
  • Administer ingredients in food production: Ingredients to be added and the required amounts according to the recipe and the way those ingredients are to be administered.
  • Be at ease in unsafe environments: Be at ease in unsafe environments like being exposed to dust, rotating equipment, hot surfaces, sub-freezing and cold storage areas, noise, wet floors and moving lift equipment.
  • Apply preservation treatments: Apply common treatments to preserve the characteristics of food products taking care of their appearance, smell and taste.
  • Blend food ingredients: Blend, mix or cultivate ingredients to make reagents or to manufacture food or beverage products and to carry the analysis that goes along with it.
  • Maintain food specifications: Preserve, review, and evaluate existing food specifications such as recipes.
  • Work according to recipe: Perform tasks in food preparation according to recipe or specification in order to preserve the quality of ingredients and to ensure replication accuracy of the recipe. Select the appropriate materials to follow the recipe, taking into account the current situation.
  • Follow hygienic procedures during food processing: Ensure a clean working space according to hygienic standards in the food processing industry.
  • Select adequate ingredients: Select adequate ingredients based in their technological function to execute ideas. Strive for consistent good quality of the ingredients and use them adequately to obtain a satisfactory final product.
  • Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages: Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.
  • Apply GMP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Operate kneading of food products: Perform all kinds of kneading operations of raw materials, half-finished products and foodstuffs.
  • Operate mixing of food products: Perform all kinds of mixing operations of raw materials, half-finished products and foodstuffs.
  • Examine production samples: Examine production samples visually or manually to verify properties such as clarity, cleanliness, consistency, humidity and texture.
  • Research new cooking methods: Assess new cooking methods by undergoing research activities in order to develop or improve food technological processes.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of industrial cook. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Cultural customs on food preparation: Cultural or religious rules and traditions regarding the preparation of food.
  • Food canning production line: Steps in the canning process line from washing, conditioning and weighing food products, washing and preparing cans, filling cans, as well as other operations in order to obtain the end product.
  • Origin of dietary fats and oils: The distinction between dietary fats that come from animals and oils derived from vegetables.
  • Food science: The study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food and the scientific concepts underlying food processing and nutrition.
  • Temperature scales: Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales.
  • Fermentation processes of food: Conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process happens using bacteria or yeasts, or a combination of the two under anaerobic conditions. Food fermentation is also involved in the process of leavening bread and the process of producing lactic acid in foods such as dry sausages, sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, and kimchi.
  • Ingredient threats: Ingredients  and potential risks which could damage humans, the flora and the fauna. Functions in ingredient formulas.
  • Food homogenisation: The procedures, machines and recipes used to mix different foodstuffs and solutions by transforming them through high pressure and acceleration processes into an uniform fluid or product.
  • Food and beverage industry: The respective industry and the processes involved in the food and beverage industry, such as raw material selection, processing, packaging, and storage.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of industrial cook. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Develop new food products: Conduct experiments, produce sample products, and perform research as part of new food product development (NPD).
  • Care for food aesthetic: Convey presentation and aesthetic elements into the production of food. Cut products properly, manage right quantities into the product, care for the attractiveness of the product.
  • Operate a heat treatment process: Apply heat treatment aimed at preparing and preserving half-finished or finished food products.
  • Identify nutritional properties of food: Determine nutritional properties of food and label products appropriately if required.
  • Perform sensory evaluation: Evaluate the quality of a given type of food or beverage based on its appearance, smell, taste, aroma, and others. Suggest possible improvements and comparisons with other products.
  • Label foodstuffs: Uses adequate equipment to place label on food goods.
  • Check quality of products on the production line: Check products for quality on the production line and remove defective items before and after packaging.
  • Execute chilling processes to food products: Carry out chilling, freezing and cooling operation processes to food products such as fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, catering food. Prepare food products for extended periods of storage or half prepared food. Ensure safety and nutrition qualities of frozen goods and preserve products in accordance with specified temperatures.
  • Participate in the development of new food products: Participate in the development of new food products together within a cross-functional team. Bring technical knowledge and perspective to the development of new products. Perform research. Interpret results for food product development.
  • Make artistic food creations: Use ingredients, mixes and instruments to create artistic food preparations e.g. cakes. Be imaginative and resourceful, and combine colours and shapes to have a good effect. Turn designs into reality, caring for aesthetic and presentation.
  • Watch food product trends: Examine findings and behaviours as to understand trends, features, or qualitative wishes of customers. Use that information for product development, for product improvement, and for packaging requirements.
  • Apply food technology principles: Food technology: a branch of food science that deals with the production processes to make foods and improve processes aimed at processing foodstuffs.
  • Identify market niches: Analyse the composition of the markets, segment these into groups, and highlight the opportunities that each one of these niches represent in terms of new products.
  • Create new recipes: Combine innovative and creative ideas to come up with new recipes and preparations to extend the product of range of a company. Make modifications to recipes in order to enhance taste, reach productivity goals, develop and improve products.
  • Coat food products: Cover the surface of the food product with a coating: a preparation based on sugar, chocolate, or any other product.
  • Monitor temperature in farinaceous processes: Monitor and control the temperature in the different phases of farinaceous processes such as fermentation, proofing, and baking. Adhere to specifications or recipes.
  • Dispose food waste: Dispose or collect food waste with the purpose of recycling or throwing away from the production process. Follow established procedures for their disposal taking care of the environment and the safety matters according to legislations.
  • Produce meat-based jelly preparations: Making gelée preparations with salted, and heated materials. Boil added ingredients in gelée and fill bowels or forms (aspic).
  • Select adequate packaging for food products: Choose the appropriate packages for food products taking into account attractiveness and suitability of the package. Use proper packaging for sending it safely and at a reasonable cost. Have awareness that packaging can also influence the product characteristics such as shape, weight or solidity. Balance out various aspects such as cost, attractivity and compliance with regulations and environment protection.
  • Maintain industrial ovens: Maintaining industrial ovens in order to ensure effective and correct operation.
  • Analyse characteristics of food products at reception: Analyse characteristics, composition, and other properties of food products at reception.
  • Apply different dehydration processes of fruits and vegetables: Differentiate and apply different dehydration processes of fruits and vegetables according to product characteristics. The processes include drying, concentration, etc.
  • Ensure compliance with environmental legislation in food production: Make sure to comply with environmental legislation in food production. Understand the legislation related to environmental matters in food manufacturing and apply it in practice.
  • Label samples: Label raw material/ product samples for laboratory checks, according to implemented quality system.

ISCO group and title

5120 – Cooks

  1. Industrial cook – ESCO
Last updated on November 3, 2022

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