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Food Scientist I - Meadville, PA
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition



TITLE: Principle Food Scientist I (SG16)

REPORTS TO: Product Development Manager

Overall Focus: Responsible for product development and maintenance of assigned products with respect to defined consumer attributes and nutritional and animal performance targets. This includes development of formulas for new products, re-formulation of existing products to improve: formula cost, production efficiency, product palatability and product appearance; and establishing specifications for finished products. This position will act as the R&D Lead in the assigned product category.


Salary Grade: Food Scientist I


1. Design and develop new prototypes that translate consumer insight and wants into product attributes.

  • Ensure that scientific knowledge in combination with consumer insight is incorporated into new product designs.
  • Develop substantiation for all claims requested.
  • Develop finished product specifications.
  • Carry out necessary testing to verify product performance.

2. Continuously improve existing products

· Continuously review formulas to ensure that performance targets are achieved and that formulations are cost effective.

· Develop, maintain and analyze any necessary competitive product performance data.

3. Provide support for other teams as requested

· Ensure that all products meet the requirements of the Ainsworth CQPs and SQF.

· Report any food safety issues to the appropriate plant QA Manager or Corporate QA Director.

· Support operations by providing technical assistance related to the production of assigned products.

· Assist in reviewing customer complaints as needed and provide guidance to the Customer Care or Marketing groups in providing responses to consumer questions.

· Provide technical expertise and training as requested.

4. Perform other departmental tasks as requested

· Accurately maintain formulas in the relevant formula databases.

· Complete test documentation and ensure necessary product support documentation is properly filed.

5. Maintain and awareness of industry trends.

6. Assume responsibility for personal development and continuous learning.

7. Champion the Ainsworth values.


(Knowledge and skills necessary to meet organizational objectives)

Education/Training: BS or higher in Food Science or related field.

Certifications/Licenses: CFS certification is encouraged (but not required).

Experience: Three years, or more, of experience in managing and conducting food product development projects. Must have some demonstrated experience in formulation, and hands-on product development experience.

CORE COMPETENCIES (Abilities required of all positions)

1. Teamwork

o Participates in the development of mutual goals and plans with members of their team or other teams.

o Supports the accomplishment of those goals with team members and outside resources.

o Participates in the identification and resolution of problems.

2. Judgment

o Follows a logical process to make decisions.

o Is able to “think on the fly”.

o Is able to think through all aspects of a problem.

o Is able to make a decision in a timely manner.

3. Communication / listening

o Correct use of grammar both written and oral.

o Articulates thoughts in a concise manner.

o Adjusts language to the level of the audience.

o Clarifies or checks for understanding as necessary.

4. Ability to learn

o Enjoys learning new things.

o Takes new information and demonstrates its use quickly.

5. Integrity

o Does what they say they are going to do.

o Does not change values to suit the situation.

o Instills trust through actions and behaviors.

6. Ainsworth fit

o Can live by and promotes our values.

7. Adaptability

o Can adjust to a new environment quickly.

o Accepts change as a way of life and works proactively to adapt.


(Abilities required of this position)

  • Strong Working knowledge of food science, health and nutrition, food manufacturing processes, quality assurance principles, ingredient supply market and market research practices.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • A demonstrable capacity to keep abreast of industry trends
  • Proficient in MS Office software-Excel, PowerPoint, Word
  • Well developed formal presentation skills before both small and large groups
  • Knowledge of Agridata formulation software
  • Strong interpersonal skills for cross functional collaboration.
  • Superb project, organizational, technical, creative, project management and time management skills.
  • Detail oriented.
  • Self motivating and dedicated.
  • Creative technical development and/or problem solving skills.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Understanding of basic intellectual properties and patent processes.
  • Intellectually curious to find and develop opportunities.


(Necessary to perform essential functions of job with or without an accommodation)

Ability to function in an office environment and operate related equipment – computer, copier, telephone, etc., as well as in a low risk manufacturing environment – able to observe and get around equipment, using PPE, if required.

Ability to travel to remote work locations by plane, car or other ground transportation, as needed. Ability to accommodate a flexible work schedule to allow participation in factory tests.

Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.


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