Texture Scientist
Impossible Foods
 Redwood City, CA
Do you want to be part of an exciting company dedicated to solving the greatest challenge humanity faces? Then Impossible Foods is the place for you.

Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 to create a truly sustainable global food system by inventing an efficient, sustainable way to transform plants into irresistibly delicious, nutritious food -- food that delivers all the pleasures and nutritional benefits consumers demand, without the destructive environmental impact. Our first product, the Impossible Burger, was introduced by top chefs to the world and is currently available at over 16,000 restaurants across the United States and abroad.

Impossible Foods is looking for a creative, motivated and mission-aligned person to join the Materials & Texture team. The overarching goal of the group is to create an arsenal of plant-based materials that enable the re-creation of any animal-based food products. We are looking for people who can bring established expertise, analytical thinking, creative ideas, and proven experimentalist skills to help us make daily progress towards that goal.

The primary responsibility for this role is spearheading research focused on food texture: how do we understand it, how do we measure it, how do we achieve texture targets. We are looking for a person with established expertise in food texture research (does not need to be in meat or meat analogues space), with a thorough knowledge of contemporary scientific literature, and with demonstrated ability to design and perform experimental studies in this field. An ideal candidate would be focused on understanding texture as perception but, at the same time, have expertise in methods of measuring quantitative aspects of texture. She/he also needs to possess fundamental knowledge of the chemistry of food ingredients (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, etc), and how different ingredients can be used for manipulating food texture properties. 

She/he will be overseeing research projects relying on a broad range of experimental approaches: sensory studies including both consumer-style panels and trained panelists, quantitative measurements of mechanical and thermal properties of food materials (using texture analyzers, rheometers, differential scanning calorimetry etc.) and bench-scale food prototyping. As a group leader, she/he would be supervising research associates and technicians, advising fellow scientists on the topics of hers/his expertise, broadly disseminating texture-related knowledge and spearheading texture research across the company. She/he will be guiding RA’s research, helping with experimental designs and engineering solutions, and mentoring their scientific development. 

Outside of the group, she/he will be expected to establish strong cross-functional interactions, in particular with the Sensory&Perception, Discovery and Engineering teams. We are looking for a person who can generate ideas and convert them into successful experiments; someone who is a master of existing technology and a rigorous practitioner of scientific methods, but also one who can break through existing paradigms and truly innovate.

You Will:

  • Conduct research in the area of food texture. 
  • Determine research methodology exploring texture as sensory perception, and work with the Sensory & Perception group in designing studies, training panelists and analyzing test results.
  • Perform standard mechanical and rheological measurements exploring texture-related properties of food, and design novel modes of measurements that give additional or more complete insights into food texture.
  • Lead conceptual and experimental research relating the two above areas.
  • Lead a group of research associates and technicians, helping them design and execute experiments, analyze data and present conclusions to the broader group. 
  • Actively participate in creating new food prototypes advising other researchers on target texture parameters.

You Have:

  • PhD. in Food Science, Biology, Psychology, Material Science, Physics, Physical Chemistry.
  • 3+ years of direct experience in sensory and perception research. 
  • Substantial experience designing and performing mechanical and rheological measurements is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to generate novel ideas, articulate them clearly and design experiments testing these ideas.
  • 2+ years of experience supervising a team of graduate students, technicians and/or research associates.
Impossible Foods Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to  race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics