Food Science Job Types - Applications Scientist/Applications Manager

What is an Applications Scientist?

An applications scientist is a scientist working for a food ingredient manufacturer in the research and development department. He/she creates new products using the company’s ingredients for their customers, which are generally food manufacturers. He/she supports sales, marketing, operations and technology objective as outlined in strategic business plans. He/she identifies and develops new application opportunities to help grow the business.

For example, a customer, a food manufacturer, might ask the ingredient company, (let’s use the example, a flavor house), to develop a blueberry flavor for their new frozen muffins. The customer needs a blueberry flavor that is  a stronger blueberry flavor that what is already in the product.  The creative flavor chemist develops the flavor, and the research chef might create a “gold standard” muffin. It is up to the application scientist be able to then create the product so that the flavor is consistent when the muffin is scaled up in a manufacturing plant. The scientist needs to understand regulatory issues, manufacturing issues, quality assurance, food safety, sensory testing, and product development.

Timelines, deliverables, and communicating outcomes or alternatives are important. He/she might be working with the sales reps on customer calls to educate the customers. He/she needs good communication skills, both written and oral, to make presentations to customers, internal colleagues and management. A degree in Food Science is usually preferred.

Should the position be at a manager level, this person would be in charge of a staff of applications scientist. They would manage multiple priorities through the organization, working with a variety of clients. They oversee the creation and development of new products to assist new business areas and further penetrate existing accounts. They develop the technical abilities of staff members through mentoring and coaching, counseling, feedback and personal development plans. They identify and recommend capital requirements that will enable the ingredient manufacturer to remain competitive with respect to applications development. They would also be responsible for budgets in the department, and represent the company in various professional organizations. A degree in food science is also required, as well as good leadership and people management skills

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