Agri-food engineering is a multidisciplinary field applying the principles of engineering and biological sciences to create, improve and manage systems containing agricultural resources (food, animals, water, plants, soil, etc.) in a sustainable way for the use and well-being of society. Commonly, agri-food engineering comprises two main areas: agri-environment engineering and food engineering.
Agri-environment engineers design and manage processes and equipment involved in livestock and plant production systems, including soil and water management and environmental protection. Their main fields of expertise are: structures and environment, power and machinery, water management (irrigation and drainage), soil conservation, primary transformation of agricultural products, waste management, etc. Food engineers apply the principles of process engineering to handling, processing, supply and transportation of food products. Therefore, they design and manage industrial processes along the food chain, from the farm to the consumer.
Since agri-environment engineering and food engineering are two complimentary fields of the agri-food sector, they are often combined to form agri-food engineering, even though their respective expertise diverges.