Sr. Sensory Scientist

About us

Based in Berkeley, CA, UPSIDE Foods grows meat, poultry, and seafood directly from animal cells.  These products are not vegan or vegetarian—they are delicious meat, made without the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals. UPSIDE Foods recently became the first company in the world to receive the US FDA greenlight for cultivated meat, and UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken will be available to consumers following USDA inspection and label approval.

Founded as the world’s first cultivated meat company in 2015, UPSIDE Foods (formerly Memphis Meats) has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being the first company to produce multiple species of meat (beef, chicken, and duck). The company believes that people shouldn’t have to choose between the foods they love and a thriving planet, and is working to build a better food system with access to delicious, humane, and sustainable meat, poultry, and seafood. UPSIDE Foods has won various industry awards, including New York Times’ Good Tech Awards, FastCo’s Next Big Thing in Tech, and the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation by the National Association for Business Resources. UPSIDE Foods has raised a total of $608 million, including from the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Baillie Gifford, Bill Gates, Cargill, John Doerr, John Mackey, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest, Richard Branson, Softbank, Temasek, Threshold, Tyson Foods, and others.

About this job

UPSIDE has grown fast over the last few years, and the momentum continues! The Sr. Sensory Scientist is an exciting, fast-paced role in which you will lead the sensory learning agenda for specific initiatives within categories. At UPSIDE, our Sensory leaders are strategic business partners. You’ll be challenged to identify new methods and approaches to drive innovation, continuous improvement and elevate the sensory function. Your work, in collaboration with the Food R&D, Upstream, Flavoromics and Ingredient team, will influence important business decisions across UPSIDE.

Responsibilities include

  • Lead sensory learning agenda for both strategic & tactical initiatives; giving your perspective on how projects might impact the business long term.
  • Leverage your experience to effectively balance hybrid research approaches with existing knowledge and deep understanding of key sensory attributes to quickly deliver actionable guidance for R&D.
  • Translate consumer expectations to aid in functional product development and assessment of new technologies.
  • Work through ambiguous situations with assistance from the manager, and demonstrate agility in adjusting to evolving business needs.
  • Interact with the leadership team, sharing key insights and offering advice on product-related challenges.
  • Develop & maintain strategic partnership with Product Development, Flavoronomics, Ingredient and Upstream teams.

About you

  • Master's degree in food science or other related field or equivalent experience.
  • 12+ years of experience in sensory research and/or sensory evaluation focused on sensory descriptive analysis. Experience with an Olfactometer is a plus.
  • 3+ years experience in descriptive analysis, recruiting, and training panels.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including timely follow-up and commitment to deliverable, and openness to give and receive feedback. Managerial experience is a plus.
  • Strong statistical analysis skills. Experience with SIMS, Compusense, XLSTAT a plus.
  • Strong ability to be flexible and collaborative when applicable.
  • Proven ability to present data, share data, share ideas.
  • Familiarity, experience, and a willingness to eat all meat-based products.

Who you’ll work with

  • This role will work closely with the internal Flavoromics team on Olfactometer. In the scope of interaction with the Flavoromics team, the ideal candidate will develop olfaction flavor panels and train flavor panelists for the enterprise.
  • This role will develop sensory lexicons for new species and train the internal sensory panel on these attributes.
  • This role will interact with the Sensory Task force to address positive and negative sensory attributes in biomass.
  • This role will interact with the Food R&D product development team  to address positive and negative sensory attributes in plant based ingredients, flavor system and other non-biomass ingredients.

Key Contributions in First Year…

  • Develop sensory lexicon for biomass in collaboration with the Flavoromics team and thus in turn helping the Flavoromics team to report out correlations.
  • Train Internal Descriptive Team on ingredient and biomass attributes in collaboration with Flavoromics.
  • Assist Sensory Task Force to address Top 5 priorities for 2023.

Compensation Range: $95,250 - $165,000*
*Pay may vary depending on factors including job-related knowledge and skills.

UPSIDE Benefits!

  • Stock options for all full-time incoming team members!
  • 90-100% employer-paid healthcare premiums for team members (medical [including HSA and FSA], dental, and vision)
  • Pet insurance for your furry family members!
  • Unlimited PTO
  • DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Council and People Engagement Programs
  • Company-sponsored learning & development opportunities

The Details

Emeryville, CA

About the Company

Upside Foods

A food technology company aiming to grow sustainable cultured meat.

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