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Temporary Research & Development Assistant - San Leandro, CA






Temporary Research & Development Assistant


Research & Development


San Leandro, CA - Corporate HQ


This position is designed for an individual who wishes to gain a better understanding on how research and development works in a food company. It is a good introduction to product development, sensory, and analytical testing. This would be a great entry level role for someone who is eager to learn and willing to put the effort into making the most out of their experience.
Specifically, the role will assist Ghirardelli product developers with Research & Development projects, especially sensory, application and analytical testing, tasting preparation, conducting shelf life studies, and lab cleaning, maintenance and management. R&D projects will range from the core business such as Baking to Restaurant and Retail products. In addition to R&D assistance, this position will assist Regulatory to support our Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) project, specifically regarding data collection and management and our e-Commerce products with product labeling. Other miscellaneous tasks will include mailing items, gathering ingredients and supplies, and providing assistance to product developers and management as needed.

Scope of Responsibilities:

  • Product Development Assistance
  • Support product developers with application testing of newly developed products
  • Application testing includes such tasks as baking cookies/cakes/brownies or other baked goods, chocolate dipping ingredients, making hot fudge, assembling ice cream sundaes, making milkshakes, etc.
  • Execute sensory testing under direction of the Sensory Specialist
  • Conduct analytical testing such as, but not limited to viscosity, water activity, color analysis, and Brix on a range of innovations including sauces, chocolate, compound coatings, etc.
  • Prepare prototypes for tastings with management, special events, and evaluation
  • Assist product developers conduct food experiments, utilizing good food hygiene practices
  • Managing shelf life studies including setting up, scheduling, and record keeping of shelf life results

Lab cleaning, Maintenance, and Management

  • Maintain a clean lab throughout the day through washing dishes, clearing clean dishes, straightening the lab, removing expired or no longer needed product/samples, wiping down bench tables at the end of the day
  • Assist management of 5S program as directed by Product Development Manager

 Regulatory Tasks

  • Under Regulatory supervision, collect data and input into Excel spreadsheets following specific guidelines
  • Work cross functionally to obtain data, potentially reaching out to suppliers directly for required information
  • Support e-Commerce products through labeling and regulatory functions

 Miscellaneous Tasks

  • Send packages for product development projects
  • Pick up lab ingredients and supplies
  • Manage package deliveries
  • Completing urgent tasks for R&D product developers, managers, director, or VP

 Attributes for Success

  • Attitude and Skills:
  • Detail oriented
  • Able to problem solve
  • Positive attitude
  • Independent thinker
  • Hard worker
  • Reliable and committed
  • Able to follow directions
  • Self-motivated and self-disciplined with the ability to work individually and within a team
  • Great time management skills (multi-tasking and prioritizing)
  • Sense of urgency to complete tasks
  • Is committed to quality

 Education and Work Experience

  • Minimum one year in food-related role
  • B.S. in Food Science or any science field, or experience in science field preferred
  • Knowledge of food handling and storage
  • Analytical food testing knowledge a plus
  • Product development experience a plus
  • Chocolate work experience a plus

Working Conditions:

  •  Moving and standing 70% of the time
  • Sitting at a computer 20% of the time
  • Cleaning/maintaining lab 10% of the time


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