Sr. Research Scientist, Coffee

Our client is a leading food and agri-business, supplying food ingredients, feed and fiber to over 19,800 customers who range from multi-national, world famous brands to small family run businesses.

Established in 1989, their team of 74,500 full-time, seasonal, and contract employees have built leadership positions in many of our businesses such as Cocoa, Coffee, Cotton, Edible Nuts and Spices.

As well as growing crops in our own orchards and estates, and sourcing from around 4.8 million farmers globally, they operate over 160 processing facilities, and through our 14 innovation centers. They develop ingredients and find solutions for our customers. Their value chain spans over 60 countries. They also provide support services including risk management solutions and agri-logistics.

Position Summary:

Reporting to the Vice President, Technical Services, the Senior Research Scientist will work directly with the coffee Innovation, Research and Development Team. The Senior Research Scientist will create, design, develop and execute the product and process technology pipeline for the coffee business unit within the Company. The position will work in both the laboratory and field settings to undertake experiments on selected projects. This position will need a broad understanding of food technologies related to functional beverage development, extraction of bio-actives, fermentation and coffee & tea processing technologies. The ideal candidate will take calculated risks with Research and Development (R&D) projects and will be outcome orientated. They will be self-aware eager to lead a group of associates across several geographies. Travel to several sites and across many origins will be required of this position.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Conceptualize, design, develop and execute new projects for the Coffee Innovation Program.
  • Writes briefs and technical specifications. Create technical documentation and provide specifications for field trials, analytical methods and quality specifications.
  • Provide scientific details on the analytical and microbiological formulation. and Process issues related to assigned projects within coffee and tea. Provide details on the health benefits of specific bio-actives.
  • Complete technical assessments for evaluation of new product / process opportunities.
  • Evaluate and provide recommendations concerning the application of new ingredient(s) and/or processing technologies.
  • Execute product prototypes from bench scale formulations to scale up through blending, extraction, concentration and drying, in addition to other process technologies.
  • Conduct set up and operations of physical, chemical and microbiological analysis laboratories.
  • Set up laboratories and train laboratory personnel to develop new capabilities in physical, chemical and microbiological analysis.
  • Engage and listen to customers to better understand their jobs to be done and collaborate efficiently.
  • Stay apprised of technologies used in the industry by reviewing technical literature, attending seminars and being an active member of the scientific/technical community within the industry.
  • Develop and mentor the technical team to enhance technical knowledge through exposure and empowerment.
  • Manage and provide feedback to the processing R&D teams.
  • Handle customer feedback and issues in a respectful and professional manner. Take timely action to resolve/address issues.
  • Manage all projects with rigorous follow up within and outside organizations.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Position Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in Food Science or Food Engineering is required, Ph D is preferred.
  • Ten (10) years of previous Research and Development experience is required. Experience should include the commercialization of functional beverage products with health claims is required.
  • Working knowledge of coffee trading, quality grading and trade is required. Expertise in coffee cupping (Q-Grader) and sensory evaluation techniques for as a tool in development of new products and expertise in corelating sensory perception to product composition is required.
  • Previous Management experience is required. Experience should include the oversight of several team members in a laboratory environment in both chemistry and microbiological laboratories.
  • Strong working knowledge of the Chemistry and microbiological aspects of food product design and product optimization is required.
  • Previous experience with analysis techniques for proximate compositions, volatile aroma quantification through GC-MS/MS, and bio-active quantification through HPLC methods is required.
  • Previous experience with the development of new measurement techniques and microbiological and fermentation techniques for coffee, tea, cocoa and other food ingredients is required.
  • Previous knowledge of statistical analysis used in design of experiments, hypothesis testing, data analysis, and measuring process capabilities is required.
  • Strong understanding of processing techniques, such as extraction of bio-actives and optimization of process parameters, is required.
  • Proven ability to accurately write and review product specifications, label declarations and formulations based on customer requirements is required. Must be able to balance the plant process capability and cost efficiencies at the same time.
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and excellent analytical and problem-solving skills are required.
  • Familiarity with Business to Business (B2B) customer interaction cross functionally with Sales and origin operations is required.
  • Applicant must be creative, pro-active, “think outside the box,” and have a desire to accept or create new ideas and take calculated risks on new products and process development.
  • Strong presentation and articulation skills are required. Must be able to effectively interact with Management and customers in Europe, US and Asia/Pacific region.
  • Comfort around higher management through excellence in articulation is required.

For more information, please contact Moira McGrath at (954) 428-3888 or e-mail