Sensory Scientist

1 day left

Minneapolis, MN
May 11, 2017
May 29, 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Sensory Scientist-MIN04875 Working at Cargill is an opportunity to thrive—a place to develop your career to the fullest while engaging in meaningful work that makes a positive impact around the globe. You will be proud to work for a company with a strong history of ethics and a purpose of nourishing people. We offer a diverse, supportive environment where you will grow personally and professionally as you learn from some of the most talented people in your field. With 150 years of experience Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. Learn more at


The Sensory Scientist position is part of the Cargill R&D team in North America. Innovation in finished products utilizing Cargill's Food Ingredients and Protein business product portfolios requires in depth sensory expertise. This position will provide key technical sensory support to a growing set of customer projects in Sensory Applications. The position reports to the R&D Sensory leader for North America and is part of the R&D Shared Capabilities team.

This is a key technical leadership position providing sensory descriptive panel expertise by working closely with R&D, Consumer insights, and Marketing teams in the food ingredient and protein businesses. An in depth knowledge of sensory descriptive analysis techniques along with statistical sensory data analysis will be key for this role. Basic understanding of other sensory methodologies such as consumer, and difference testing, focus groups will also be required for this position.

The individual will have a chance to work independently, and manage a group of panelists at the same time. The dynamics for working with a group, leading them and maintaining their performances would be a great opportunity for the successful candidate to develop technical and leadership skills in a fast emerging, highly dynamic and technical business environment.

50% Sensory Descriptive Analysis Project Management and Customer Collaboration

  • Provide sensory descriptive expertise to product development and cross functional business teams supporting internal Cargill and external customer projects by managing Descriptive Analysis (DA) projects

  • Align with Global R&D team strategy as well as Cargill Food Ingredient and Protein business needs and priorities and deliver results that enable the business to succeed

  • Independently lead sensory DA projects from planning through execution, analysis and communication of sensory results with recommended actionable next steps

  • Contribute to functional basic research projects including methodology development, reference development, training initiatives, alternative and creative ways to train panel or present statistical data.

  • Understand panel training needs and incorporate training into projects on a weekly basis. Solid interpersonal, panel leading and conflict resolution skills are a must for this role.

  • Apply sound, scientific practices and techniques to ensure descriptive panelists are trained as per industry standards.

  • Work closely with sensory and cross-functional teams to understand, execute and meet project objectives

  • Effectively manage sensory calendar and DA project timelines to meet internal and external customer timelines and expectations

  • Interact effectively with cross-functional project teams, panelists and technicians and able to work with a diverse group of people and work styles

  • Conduct research following Cargill's food safety and health & safety policies

  • 40% Sensory Descriptive Analysis Panel Management and Execution

  • Conduct panel performance evaluation and provide regular feedback on individual panelist performance compared to the panel average and clearly communicate to the panel their strengths and opportunities.

  • Document any panelist concerns, opportunities, training offered and panelist progress and update the Sensory Manager and contractor agency frequently.

  • Manage recruitment and maintenance of new descriptive panelists working closely with the contractor agency. Provide initial training and incorporate the new panelists with current panel.

  • Work closely with other sensory team members to upkeep the sensory lab and sensory evaluation rooms. Responsibilities include and not limited to procuring and preparing samples and references, panel room set-up and clean-up, lab supply stocking and maintenance. Able to fulfill these responsibilities as needed when the sensory technician is not available.

  • Taste and evaluate samples to guide and lead panel discussions to better understand sensory data and panelist evaluation experience.

  • Use sensory data collection software (e.g. SIMS, EyeQuestion) to design sensory panels, develop and maintain sensory DA ballots

  • Document all work using electronic lab notebooks and tracking software systems. Protect this information as required by company policy

  • Able and willing to work on product development using novel and/or non GRAS ingredients

  • 10% Innovation, Project Improvement and Sensory Team Support

  • Identify innovative new approaches related to sensory science, statistical analysis, product and ingredient development

  • Assist in improving and effectiveness of the sensory program and project management

  • Mentor junior team members in designing, executing and report writing

  • Assist the Sensory Leader in managing external sensory services and advance current sensory testing capabilities

  • Create IP to help Cargill capture value from innovation

  • Participate on CTES sensory team work

  • Qualifications

    Required Qualifications

    • BSc in Food Science or related field (e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Nutrition etc.)

    • 2 years' technical experience in the food and beverage industry

    • 2 years' experience in sensory science

    • Ability to understand and interpret qualitative and quantitative sensory data and statistical analysis

    • Ability to communicate technical details to wide array of people and project teams

    • Basic understanding of sensory data collection systems (SIMS, Compusense or EyeQuestion)

    • Basic understanding of statistical analysis applied to sensory data

    • Demonstrated ability to influence and lead sensory projects across teams

    • Excellent organizational, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills

    • Excellent verbal, communication, prioritization, report writing and presentation skills

    • Ability to work independently as well as with teams

    • Ability to travel up to 15%

    Preferred Qualifications

    • MSc in Food Science or related field with an emphasis in sensory descriptive analysis

    • 5 years of experience working in the sensory field with finished products or food ingredients

    • Experience in designing, executing and interpreting descriptive analysis panels

    • Experience in recruiting, training and managing descriptive panel

    • Experience in using sensory data collection software (SIMS. Compusense, or EyeQuestion)

    • Expertise in statistical analysis of descriptive methods and panel performance

    • Project Management experience.

    Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.

    Job Research and Development

    Primary Location US-MN-Minneapolis

    Schedule Full-time

    Job Type Standard

    Shift Day Job

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