Research & Innovation Associate Scientist - Taste Modification

Geneva, IL, US, 60134

You may know McCormick as a leader in herbs, spices, seasonings, and condiments – and we’re only getting started. At McCormick, we’re always looking for new people to bring their unique flavor to our team.

McCormick employees – all 14,000 of us across the world – are what makes this company a great place to work.


We are looking to hire an Associate Scientist immediately at our McFONA site in Geneva, IL.


What We Bring To The Table:

The best people deserve the best rewards. In addition to the benefits you’d expect from a global leader (401k, health insurance, paid time off, etc.) we also offer:

• Competitive compensation

• Career growth opportunities

• Flexibility and Support for Diverse Life Stages and Choices

• We prioritize our communities and the planet we share. We are proud to be awarded as a Diversity Inc. Top 50 company for Diversity and have multiple Sustainability awards (ranking #22 in the World and #1 in Food Products)

• Wellbeing programs including Physical, Mental and Financial wellness

• Tuition assistance


Position Overview 

The position of Research & Innovation Associate Scientist – Taste Modification is responsible for supporting FONA’s innovation efforts through basic research and development of new and novel flavor-related technologies specific to McFONA’s core taste modification technology platform. Within this role, the Research & Innovation Associate Scientist – Taste Modification will be required to exemplify many different scientific inquiry characteristics necessary to assist the Research & Innovation Group with new customer product solutions.  This role requires supporting the vision and mission of the Taste Modification Senior Scientist.  This includes the support of taste modification-based research projects from conceptual experimentation to process and technology commercialization. The position will require the application of the scientific method to conduct research and report findings, conclusions, and executive recommendations in McFONA confidential reports or within industrial or academic domains, including scientific papers, invention disclosures, and patent applications.


The Research & Innovation Associate Scientist – Taste Modification role requires understanding instrumentation and equipment necessary to characterize taste modification research. This position is responsible for optimizing instrumentation and flavor applications from lab-scale to production-scale processes, creating SOPs, and providing training support to teammates as needed. This role involves running and maintaining our electronic sensing instrumentation.


This position is also responsible for following the commercialization processes outline and applying the selection of appropriate prototype flavor products to support the customer’s needs. This role assists in prototype formulation, flavor application, and building technical credibility with external customers through project interaction and reporting. This role may require supervising technicians, research assistants, and interns as needed.



Key Responsibilities:


Project Management and Research Execution

  • Support research projects on experimental designs as prescribed by Research & Innovation Group leadership
  • Apply the scientific method to expand further McFONA’s Research & Innovation taste modification platform developments
  • Support, conduct, and report research in the pertinent areas of McFONA’s Research & Innovation platform as they align with the Business Unit Group strategy
  • Support drafting McFONA confidential reports or within industrial or academic domains, including scientific papers, invention disclosures, and patent applications.
  • Collaborate with flavor chemists and food scientists to develop and optimize customer-specific projects
  • Provide essential support to McFONA’s leadership team in the line extension and development of taste modification platform technologies that result in profitable growth for the company


Taste Modification Ingredient Knowledge

  • Support the optimization of current McFONA taste modification technologies.
  • Work with Research & Innovation Group members and strategic partners to develop a rich understanding of newly created technologies and how they apply to Business Unit Groups to offer McFONA’s customers new solutions continuously
  • Support proper commercialization of flavors and technology from bench-top through manufacturing scale, including shelf-life confirmation.
    • Sensory and analytical experimental design and data generation
    • BU and customer support on sample preparation and evaluation
    • New ingredient efficacy and feasibility evaluation


Required Qualifications:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree from a four-year College, University, or equivalent related experience or training. Degree work should be in Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Food Science, or a related discipline.


Work Experience Qualifications:

The individual should have technical research experience in the following areas to fulfill the principal responsibilities and duties of the position:

  1. Experience in performing scientific experiments, statistical data analysis, and writing reports.
  2. Experience with basic laboratory calculations – quantification, concentrations, molarity, serial dilutions, ppm to percent conversions, max usage levels of ingredients in formulations
  3. Laboratory experience preparing samples for analytical instrumentation and tasting evaluation
  4. Basic understanding of solubility and solvent/carrier system troubleshooting
  5. Experience with method development for sample preparation and analytical instrumentation
  6. Skilled in analysis to identify and quantify target components using analytical instruments, such as electronic sensing instruments, gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS), gas chromatograph-olfactometer (GC-O), high-performance liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer (HPLC-MS)
  7. HACCP understanding and ability to follow standard operation procedures (SOP) and hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) plans.
  8. Experienced interpersonal communications and research skills are required. Interface experience with industry peers for the development of open innovation and industry-relevant technologies.
  9. Interest in learning about taste modification techniques and strategies and curiosity to discover/develop new solutions
  10. Interest in learning about designing and performing sensory evaluation for taste equivalency testing, difference testing, and basic taste descriptive analysis.
  11. Interest in learning about the FEMA regulatory aspects of flavor and taste modification
  12. Computer programming skills are a plus




McCormick & Company is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.


As a general policy, McCormick does not offer employment visa sponsorships upon hire or in the future. 


United by flavor. Driven by results.

As a McCormick employee you’ll be empowered to focus on more than your individual responsibilities. You’ll have the opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself—to have a say in where the company is going and how it’s growing.

Between our passion for flavor, our 130-year history of leadership and integrity, the competitive and comprehensive benefits we offer, and our culture, which is built on respect and opportunities for growth, there are many reasons to join us at McCormick.

Nearest Major Market: Chicago