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Research Associate 2, Food Safety Product Development - Des Moines, IA 50317

Kemin Industries, Inc.






  • Kemin Nutrisurance is seeking a driven and energetic research associate to help support our product development efforts in our growing and fast-paced Food Safety platform. The candidate will be responsible for basic and applied microbiology research, formulation of antimicrobials and antimycotics for pet foods, treats and pet food ingredients. The candidate must have relevant experience in microbiology. This position will be located in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • The Research Associate’s primary duties include:
    • Conducting experiments to determine antimicrobial efficacy of active molecules- including challenge testing using pathogenic bacteria and spoilage microorganisms- leading to formulation of products that meet customer requirements
    • Formulation, testing and scale-up of new products
    • Communicating results via reports, white papers, presentations, trial documents


  • All aspects of conducting basic and applied microbiology and antimicrobial research: such as protocol development, experimentation, troubleshooting, statistical analysis, data interpretation, communicating results- oral and written
  • Involvement in all steps in the Product Innovation Process (PIP) leading to launch of new or improved antimicrobials for pet food and ingredients
  • Screening compounds/products for antimicrobial activity by in vitro methods, molecular methods and challenge testing in food matrixes.
  • Isolation of microorganisms from food and identification of microorganisms
  • May need to assist/work on customer related projects and trials
  • Media preparation, general lab maintenance, safe and proper use of lab equipment such as autoclave, chemical fume and biological hoods, microscopes, spectrophotometers
  • Adhere to laboratory standard operating procedures, documentation and guidelines


  • Bachelor’s degree in microbiology, food science or molecular biology with 2 – 4 years of hands-on microbiology research experience is desired. Master’s degree with 1-2 years microbiology research experience.
  • Strong microbiology lab skills and ability to work independently are a must
  • Frequent handling of BSL2 microorganisms and hazardous chemicals/materials
  • Able to interpret and present data clearly in reports, papers, posters and presentations
  • Able to solve problems and troubleshoot experiments
  • Collaborative teamwork including frequent work with other R&D, CLS, Quality, and Production team members
  • Excellent organizational skills and a high level of attention to detail
  • Maintain accurate and detailed documentation of experimental work
  • Reliable, self-motivated, adaptable to change and persistent in efforts
  • Innovative thinking, open to new ideas and sharing knowledge across Kemin
  • Solid understanding of food safety issues and the pet food industry is a plus
  • Experience with molecular techniques and fermentation is a plus

We Are Kemin

  • We are visionaries who see things differently and are inspired by the world around us. We have been dedicated to using applied science to improve the quality of life for over half a century. Committed to feed and food safety, Kemin maintains top-of-the-line manufacturing facilities where over 500 specialty ingredients are made for humans and animals in the global feed and food industries, as well as the health, nutrition, beauty and textile markets. We provide product solutions and options to customers in more than 120 countries.
  • A privately held, family-owned and operated company, Kemin has more than 2,300 global employees and operates in 90 countries including manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.

What’s in it for you:

  • A competitive financial package- in addition to your salary, we offer an uncapped bonus opportunity, 401k match program, and paid vacation and holidays.
  • Robust health and wellness support- we are proud to offer a fitness reimbursement (for your whole family!), an on-site fitness center, restaurant with seasonal fresh food options (and the ability to order food to bring home), and free fresh fruit in break areas- to name a few.
  • Continued learning opportunities- Kemin offers tuition reimbursement and recently launched a new corporate university with online and in-person training opportunities for growth and development throughout your entire career.
  • The chance to give back to our world- Through our foundation of servant leadership, we are proud to offer ample service opportunities, including paid time off to do so. Kemin has a valued corporate partnership with both The World Food Programme and Habitat for Humanity, in addition to many local initiatives.
  • Opportunities to support our valued educators- Kemin is a proud sponsor of the Iowa Governor's Stem Advisory Council where we fund annual teacher's awards. In addition, we have a robust internship and externship program, and frequently host student tours.

Apply Now







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