Nature & Scope
The Manager Food & Beverage Innovation will be responsible for all inquiries and actions pertaining to food and beverage applications. This versatile position acts as both a food scientist in the lab and provides technical support for food and beverage manufacturing from lab to pilot plant to commercialization.
This role will work closely with our Commercial and Science & Technology teams to provide technical leadership through direct interaction with customers, in-house formulation, and serve as subject-matter-expert in how various “biotics” work in Food and Beverage applications. Candidates must be familiar with food processing/manufacturing processes to create prototypes and help customers produce the final product, as well as create methods for testing the actives in the food for label and regulatory purposes.
The responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to the following:
• Works on internal lab projects 50% of the time and provides technical support to customers 50% of the time.
• Apply fermentation and microbiology principles to food and beverage applications.
• Providing technical expertise and problem-solving support to customers on how to best apply Deerland products as relates to use of probiotics in various food and beverage applications.
• Lead product development projects on continuous improvement on existing products. Will work with internal project teams, consultants, and third-party developers.
• Create food recipe/blends to test viability and stability of portfolio products.
• Understand manufacturing processes for each application (may require visiting food facilities).
• Lead, design, conduct and troubleshoot enumeration assay tests and other traditional food analysis (water activity, moisture content, pH, etc.) to support customers’ needs and new application development.
• Conduct stability studies for established and new probiotic products in various food and beverage applications by utilizing aseptic technique to ensure sterility of all media, equipment, and work areas, sample preparation, sample analysis, enumeration by CFU plating and microscopy, calibration, and tracking
• Help consult on sales tools, marketing materials from a technical point of view, and reports for food and beverage-specific applications. Key applications include: Fruit juices, Functional shots and drinks, hot beverages such as coffee or tea, breakfast items such as cereal and oatmeal, kids’ snacks, snack bars, cereal bars, dairy and non-dairy beverages such as yogurt/kefir/smoothies, kombucha, frozen foods, etc.
• Prepare and present technical product presentations.
• Coordinate University/outside labs to use for application specific testing.
• Improve and expand company’s knowledge of new food ingredients/technologies for new and existing markets as applicable.
• Collaborate with industry professionals to expand new food application development opportunities.
• Serve as food science subject-matter-expert on the Food and Beverage team.
• Provide expertise, including in-house formulation, field technical services work, and other technical matters to support business growth.
• Perform technical investigation on in-house and customer samples, analyzing and troubleshooting data, preparing reports, and assisting customers to support Deerland product portfolio in their food and beverage kitchens/labs and manufacturing processes.
• Develop and own understanding of probiotic & digestive health processes.
• Initiate and ensure compliance with applicable safety procedures.
• Work collaboratively and cross-functionally to achieve customer and product objectives with R&D, Quality, Product Development, Regulatory Affairs, Operations, Marketing and Sales.
• Handle technical budget and metrics and report to stakeholders monthly.
• Collaborate with developers on process and product optimization projects
• Develop strong customer relationships at key accounts.
• Lead the relationship between Deerland and outside researchers to establish trial protocols, manage trial execution, and provide key progress updates.
• Maintain current knowledge of competitive products and developments in the industry.
• Out of state travel: Occasional (~35%).
• Minimum – Bachelor’s Degree in food science/biochemistry with at least 5 years of food application experience.
• Preferred – Master’s Degree in food science/biochemistry/microbiology.
• Demonstrated knowledge and expertise of the food and beverage industry, with a focus on functional foods and nutritional ingredients and how they are applied to formulations and during manufacturing processes.
• Utilize broad practical food science and manufacturing process knowledge to position products into various applications.
• Ability to develop lab prototypes.
• Previous experience or sound understanding of microbiology.
• Experience in providing expert technical advice to customer with proven ability to translate complex technical information into customer-relevant recommendations.
• Enjoy troubleshooting.
• Proficient in MS Office, Excel, and Power Point.
• Experience with probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes.
• Experience with the following: IR, PCR, Real-Time PCR, Microbial plating, extraction techniques.
• Experience with SalesForce.com.
• Project management skills.
• Method development and validation for microbiologic applications.
• Customer focused and solution-oriented mindset, capable of building trusted relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.
• Pragmatic and can-do mentality with excellent problem-solving skills.
• Strong attention to detail in order to produce accurate, precise, and reproducible data.
• Has a desire to understand how things work. Comes up with new ideas; generates alternatives when the usual methods don’t work; solves new or unusual problems effectively.
• Understands the customer's problems and concerns and displays a motivation to be helpful and resolve them.
• Ability to understand technical properties and functionality of ingredient portfolio.
• Strong analytical, organizational, and time management skills.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills – ability to make presentations and/or give presentations.
• Ability to work independently and without supervision; effectively plan, organize and execute own activities.
• Strategic mindset /critical thinking skills necessary.
• Must possess a valid U.S. driver’s license.