In Summary - Flavourist / Food Chemist
Flavourist / Food Chemists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Flavourist / Food Chemist
A Flavorist is a research scientist who develops artificial and natural flavors for food. Flavourists work in laboratories to find and identify unique flavor combinations.
The laboratories are typically equipped with standard kitchen equipment such as microwaves, stoves, blenders, and even complete kitchens.
The job of a Flavorist is to combine different chemicals with everyday food, so it is important that a Flavorist knows how to create specific and desired reactions. The resulting products must taste good, and also be safe for human consumption. This knowledge can only be gained through a combination of academic research work and an intimate knowledge of food.
Flavorists are largely associated with the food industry, but they are not limited to this area. Companies that manufacture cosmetics, hair care products, skin creams and other products hire flavorists to make sure that their products have a pleasant smell.
Flavorists may also work on changing the taste of pharmaceutical products, such as medicines that have bitter tastes.
Companies that produce household products, such as detergents, or floor and window cleaning products, also employ flavour chemists to create and include such flavors as lemon, lavender or beeswax.
The larger production companies may employ their own Flavourist or Chemist in-house, but there are also several 'flavour houses' worldwide that provide consultancy services for small producers seeking specific flavours for thier products.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Record or compile test results or prepare graphs, charts, or reports.
- Conduct standardized tests on food, beverages, additives, or preservatives to ensure compliance with standards and regulations regarding factors such as color, texture, or nutrients.
- Maintain records of testing results or other documents as required by state or other governing agencies.
- Taste or smell foods or beverages to ensure that flavors meet specifications or to select samples with specific characteristics.
- Monitor and control temperature of products.
- Compute moisture or salt content, percentages of ingredients, formulas, or other product factors, using mathematical and chemical procedures.
- Perform regular maintenance of laboratory equipment by inspecting, calibrating, cleaning, or sterilizing.
- Analyze test results to classify products or compare results with standard tables.
- Provide assistance to food scientists or technologists in research and development, production technology, or quality control.
- Train newly hired laboratory personnel.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interests - Flavourist / Food Chemist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Flavourists need to have a curious nature and a general understanding of food and food composition and enjoy the cooking process.
Flavorists need an excellent sense of smell and taste - these two senses are used on a regular basis within their work.
Entry Requirements - Flavourist / Food Chemist
A Flavorist or Food Chemist typically has an undergraduate B.Sc. in chemistry or biology, and may go on to a food-specific area of research (e.g. Food Science) at post-graduate level.
A PhD may be required by some employers in order to obtain a job as a Flavorist.
Last Updated: November, 2014