Comprehensive Guide for GATE –  FOOD TECHNOLOGY

This blog is a comprehensive guide for students preparing for GATE- Food Technology through Life Science route.

This blog talks about
a. Exam Pattern
b. Analysis of previous 10 yrs papers and
c. Reference book

EXAM PATTERN for GATE – Food Technology

Questions Type: There are two types of questions:

  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). It may be direct question or matching type questions.
  • Multiple Select Questions and /or Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions

Exam Duration: 3 hrs


1. Chemistry (Section P) is a mandatory section, consisting of 15 questions of total 25 marks. This section has a few numerical answer-type questions.

2. The paper will also have a General Aptitude section of total 15 marks.

3. Apart from Chemistry, the candidates will also have to choose two more sections from Q to U. Each of the sections from Q to U will consist of 20 questions carrying total 30 mark

XL Paper SectionsCode
Chemistry (Compulsory)P
Food TechnologyU

Total Marks

SubjectTotal marks
General Aptitude15
Option 1 Subject30
Option 2 Subject30

Marking Scheme

  1. MCQs – 1 mark for each correct answer; 1/3 mark will be deducted every wrong answer.
  2. MCQs – 2 marks for each correct answer; 2/3 mark will be deducted for every incorrect response.
  3. There is no negative marking for Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions


Before the preparation of the exam, it is very important to understand the question pattern, its depth, its coverage of topics within the syllabus. For this, one must go through previous years’ papers and look for the pattern. If there is a pattern, we study accordingly and if we don’t find a pattern, the exam preparation strategy totally changes.

We did an analysis of the last 10 yrs papers on food technology (life science) and here are some observations.

Disclaimer: Some of the topics / subjects can be overlap, so you should not take these data on an absolute basis but look for a common trend

Previous years GATE paper analysis
Previous years GATE paper analysis
Table 2: Total marks associated with different topics each year.

How to interpret this table?

a. in 2014, total 19 marks were from numerical sections and out of it total 6 marks questions came only from the momentum transfer topic.

b. Out of all the topics, maximum marks questions came from the Thermal Operations topic

Food Engineering Topics20112012201320142015201620172018201920202021
Enzyme Kinetics2 2   22   
Microbial Growth Kinetics2  1   2 1 
Milk and Milk Products Processing  2        
Mass, Elemental and Energy Balance 32343313  
Momentum Transfer2  6231    
Heat Transfer   22 22 2`2
Mass Transfer           
Mechanical Operations   23 3 31 
Thermal Operations4443 3414  
Mass Transfer Operations 2 2   12  
Miscellaneous1      11  
Total Marks out of 3511910191191510134 

Key Observations

1. Food Engineering has been a major contributor of questions in exams (except 2020)
2. Numerical type questions & Matching type questions form majority of question type
3. Heat Transfer, Mass Balance, Fluid Flow, Microbial growth & Enzyme kinetics are the top five topics in which numerical questions come.
4. In 2021, there was only one numerical problem.

REFERENCE BOOK for GATE – Food Technology

GATE Life Science Food Technology Book

GATE [Life Science] –  FOOD TECHNOLOGY & Allied Sciences is a comprehensive examination kit for those preparing for GATE Life Science exam.  The book aims at providing a single window to prepare for GATE Life Science Exam.

This book covers all the subjects of Life Science syllabus with wider emphasis on Food Technology. It has Syllabus, Multiple Choice Questions, and Solved Previous Years Papers for Chemistry, Biochemistry, Botany, Microbiology, Zoology & Food Technology.

In Food Technology section, the book covers detail analysis of previous years questions, about 350 solved numerical aptitude questions, multiple choice questions and short notes to revise entire syllabus.

GATE Life Science Food Technology Book


GATE Life Science Food Technology Book Salient Features


Sanjeev Kumar Sharma

Author: Objective Food Science; Science of Cocoa Processing
Co-author: Objective Food Science & Safety Standards
M Sc [Food Tech], CFTRI, Mysore
B Tech [Food Sc], VNMKV, Parbhani

Lohith Kumar D H

Research Scholar, IIT Roorkee
B Tech [Food Sc], UAS Bangalore
M Tech [Food Process Engineering], NIT Rourkela

Dr Ashwani Sharma

Faculty, Department of Biotechnology,
R V College of Engineering, Bengaluru
PhD [Biotech], CFTRI Mysore
M Sc [Botany], Kanpur University

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