Associate Scientist: Flavor Formulation
Wildtype is on a mission to create the cleanest, most sustainable seafood on the planet, starting with sushi-grade salmon. We’re pioneering cellular agriculture to protect wild species and our oceans, and to reverse trends of global food insecurity. Wildtype will provide consumers with a new option for real seafood that provides the same nutritional benefits as the most pristine wild-caught fish, without common contaminants such as mercury, microplastics, antibiotics, or pesticides.
We were founded in 2016 by Aryé Elfenbein, a cardiologist and molecular biologist, and Justin Kolbeck (CEO), a former US diplomat who served in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in an effort to solve one of the world’s biggest problems: how to feed a growing population without stripping the earth of its natural resources and biodiversity. Investors include L Catterton, Jeff Bezos, Spark Capital, CRV, Temasek, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition, among others.
Come join us in transforming our food system for good!
Your work at Wildtype
- Flavor Formulation: Develop and optimize savory flavor formulations of cultivated seafood products
- Seafood Flavor Replication: Utilize your deep understanding of seafood flavor profiles to identify and replicate key sensory attributes, including taste, aroma, texture, and overall mouthfeel, for cultivated seafood products
- Ingredient Selection: Conduct comprehensive research and evaluation of ingredients, flavor compounds, and additives to identify suitable components that mimic the natural flavors of seafood.
- Flavor Enhancement: Innovate and refine flavor formulations to enhance sensory attributes, addressing challenges related to taste intensity, umami, fattiness, brininess, fishiness, and other desirable characteristics associated with seafood.
- Release kinetics: Develop tissues that allow retention and release of specific flavor characteristics at the right release rate and level.
- Collaboration and research: Collaborate closely with cross-functional teams, including food technologists, cell biologists, and sensory scientists to develop flavors through biological and scaffold formulation-based approaches
- Analytical Testing: Analyze a variety of volatile and non-volatile compounds that contribute to flavor and nutrition, as well as their interaction with tissues, utilize analytical techniques to characterize and evaluate the sensory properties of cultivated seafood products, including flavor release, stability, key component identification, and consumer preference studies.
- Regulatory Compliance: Stay informed about relevant regulations, guidelines, and safety standards associated with flavor formulation and ingredient selection in the field of cellular agriculture.
- Documentation and Reporting: Maintain accurate records of formulation development activities, experimental results, and formulation adjustments. Prepare comprehensive reports and technical documentation to communicate findings, recommendations, and project status.
- Industry Trends and Innovation: Stay updated with emerging trends, scientific advancements, and developments in the cellular agriculture and seafood flavor industries. Propose and implement innovative flavor solutions based on market and consumer insights.
What you bring to Wildtype
- A minimum of a Master's + 4 years of flavor formulation experience or Ph.D. degree in Food Science, Flavor Chemistry, Biochemistry, or related field. Postdoctoral experience in flavor formulation is preferred.
- Strong expertise (3+ years) in flavor formulation, with preferably a focus on savory/ seafood applications. Experience in cellular agriculture or alternative protein industries is a significant advantage.
- In-depth knowledge of seafood flavor chemistry, including the identification and characterization of key flavor compounds found in fish and shellfish.
- Proficiency in conducting sensory evaluations and consumer preference studies.
- Experience with flavor stabilization techniques and technologies, as well as natural ingredient sourcing and extraction methods, is a plus.
- Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, with the ability to troubleshoot and optimize flavor formulations.
- Detail-oriented approach to experiments, with exceptional organizational and documentation skills.
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills, capable of collaborating effectively within cross-functional teams and across scientific disciplines.
- Up-to-date knowledge of industry regulations, including FDA and other relevant bodies, as well as familiarity with intellectual property considerations in the cellular agriculture field.
- Passion for sustainable food solutions and a desire to contribute to the future of the food industry.
- A resourceful, entrepreneurial, creative, and collaborative mindset. The ability to work cross-functionally with various teams, and also independently in the design and execution of flavor development experiments
What we’ll teach you
- How to work with a fast-moving, interdisciplinary team working at the leading edge of numerous highly technical fields
- How cellular metabolism and cell-scaffold interactions contribute to flavor development
- How to work with cells and scaffolds to develop increasingly complex flavor profiles
- Within 1 month You will have understood Wildtype’s product states and approaches for flavor advancement. You will have started to develop a strategy to utilize the advantage of existing cellular metabolites and scaffolding for flavor improvement. You will take on the responsibility of advancing Wildtype’s seafood flavor formulation projects.
- Within 3 months You will have understood and identified the area of limitation and strategies for flavor improvement . You will have worked with other R&D teams to develop detailed plans for how to advance the flavor both in cell-specific and final product matrix approaches.
- Within 6 months You will have started making advancements in flavor of multiple SKUs. You will have identified the ways to make the best use of the advantage of having genuine cells as a flavor component. You will have presented key findings in company-wide research meetings.
- Within 12 months You will have continued to optimize Wildtype’s flavor assessment platform and led flavor assessment at different stages of product life cycles. Work with cell biology teams to advance cell-derived flavor profiles will have materialized into quantifiable product improvements.
Location: This position is an onsite role based in San Francisco.
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Wildtype is committed to building a diverse workplace spanning multiple dimensions including race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender identity, and veteran status.