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Food Scientist - (14000052) - Edina, MN





The purpose of this position is to conduct product development & ingredient application work in support of SunOpta product and ingredient sales.  The position will be embedded in SunOpta’s Product Development and Innovation team whose focus is on Healthy Beverages and Hand-Held Snack Foods.  The successful candidate will also have expertise in the application of fiber and functional carbohydrates into food product development for SunOpta and client product.



Further Description

This position is responsible for providing hands-on technical project work and project management for development of finished food products, with focus on utilizing SunOpta ingredients therein.   Particular focus will be on grain snacks and beverages with occasional application work possibilities in meat, cereal and bakery. The incumbent will conduct laboratory product development and testing, conduct plant trials, and provide on-going technical service support to customers. Significant customer interaction is required along with other technical service accountabilities to support the needs of Sales, Marketing, and Operations.  The incumbent will design and execute projects at SunOpta and customer locations that lead to development of commercially viable products.  He/she will utilize understanding of ingredient functionality to communicate to customers and to internal SunOpta R&D members how fiber and functional carbohydrate ingredients can be used to resolve issues and/or develop new products. The individual will be expected to deliver technical capability presentations to peers and customers and will be encouraged to present at food industry conferences.  SunOpta is open to scientific publications by its scientists.


This is a customer facing position that provides technical service and support to customers.  The individual must be able to work independently with customers to help support existing as well as new business opportunities.





·         Lead development of healthy snacking and/or healthy beverage consumer products


o    Knowledge and experience in cold pressed bar applications, extruded and baked snacks a plus.

o    Knowledge and experience in beverage and foods sauces/marinades a plus.


·         Manage product develop projects.


·         Provide ingredient application expertise of fiber and functional carbohydrates in support of client and SunOpta new product development and reformulation projects.  This includes working closely with our Sales team.  Examples include:


o    Demonstration of gluten-free snack capabilities with fiber ingredients

o    Assessment & development of processed meat extension.

o    Assessment & development of fiber in beverage applications


·         Provide technical service support in fiber and functional carbohydrates  sales when needed by customers or SunOpta colleagues.  Examples include:


o    Identification and resolution of complex technical issues via telephone or on-site.  

o    Investigation of equipment and ingredient root cause by simulating and resolving texture and rheological issues at the lab level to simulate plant situations.


·         Co-lead development of technical strategy development for fiber and functional carbohydrate ingredient group: conduct pro-active application investigations & provide insight of ingredient development opportunities to support business growth.




List examples of decisions you have the authority to make on the job.  List examples of decisions or actions which need to be referred to others.


·         Decide on daily prioritization of work and projects that have been assigned.

·         Deciding which fiber and functional carbohydrate ingredients should be recommended/ presented to the customer.

·         Decide on the experimental design for carrying out Applications and Development activities.

List examples of decisions which need to be referred to or consulted with others.

·         Pricing and commercial aspects of product solutions

·         Prioritization of Product Development and Applications projects

·         Recommend product solutions and other demonstrations that should be presented to aid consumer sales.








                     Marketing and Business Development



                     Other R&D Members







5.  Required Skills/Qualifications:

List core knowledge and skills required for the job.  Include those considered to be specialized, acquired within the organization or acquired externally.


·         B.S. or M.S. in Food Science or Cereal Science (or foreign equivalent) and 5 years of industry experience.  

·         Experience in an R&D organization associated with food product development and design.

·         At least 2 years of experience in bakery and snack products specifically and commercialization experience of consumer food product.

·         Experience in characterization and consumer testing of finished food products utilizing ingredient interaction and process modifications to improve consumer acceptability of baked and snack products.

·         Strong interpersonal skills with individuals of diverse backgrounds including R&D, production, and other functions necessary.

·          Knowledge of functional food ingredients and experience in developing food products with fiber, proteins, sweeteners, and grain-based ingredients.   

·         Experience writing reports and/or maintaining laboratory notebook.  Demonstrated skills in statistics including ability to statistically analyze data and utilize that data to develop commercially viable solutions.

·         Ability to work in a team and also independently.

·         Strong writing and communication skills, including ability to effectively communicate with customers as well as each level within the SunOpta organization.

·         Strong presentation skills; for use in delivering technical presentations to customers as well as industry groups and symposia.

·         Demonstration of strong technical network with universities, past colleagues and vendors.




Number of Supervised Staff:

Direct: TBD


Financial Responsibilities:



Annual Operating Budget:



Annual Revenue Generation:







25% to 50%

Air/Car/Both: Air and Car





Regular periods during which there is extended physical exertion required, e.g., walking standing, stooping, climbing, lifting material or equipment, some of which may be heavy or awkward.



Occasional exposure to factors such as temperature extremes, moving machinery, noise, and fumes which cause noticeable discomfort.



Almost continuous requirement to give concentrated attention where multiple stimuli are changing, quickly and where two or more senses - hearing, seeing, touching, tasting - must be used in coordination.







There is continuous pressure from deadlines, production quotas, accuracy or similar demands. Unpleasant contacts and/or concern about unpleasant situations are frequent. Moderate disruption of family/social life.









Primary Location

: United States

Work Locations


Edina US Corporate Office 

7301 Ohms Lane Suite 600

 Edina 55439


: Research & Development


: Corporate


: Regular


: Standard

Job Type

: Full-time

 Day Job


: Yes, 50 % of the Time

Job Posting

: Oct 30, 2014, 8:58:05 AM


Apply Now





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