Flavor Chemist: Salary, Job Description and Duties
Flavor chemists enhance natural flavors and create new ones using various scientific applications and creative thinking. Most flavor chemists work in flavor houses and sell their products to companies needing flavor additives for their products.
Flavor Chemist Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't list the salary information of flavor chemists because it stated there are no reliable salary sources specifically for flavor chemists (www.bls.gov). PayScale.com reported in August 2011 that food chemists, which includes flavor chemists, who earned gross annual salaries in the 10th-90th percentile took home $29,429-$83,234. The American Chemical Society stated that in 2009, the median annual salary for all chemists was $90,000 (portal.acs.org). The American Chemical Society also reported that chemists with a bachelor's degree earned the least, with a median annual salary of $66,252. Chemists with a master's degree earned a median annual salary of $80,619, and chemists with doctoral degrees earned a median annual salary of $100,000.
Flavor Chemist Job Description
Flavor chemists, also called flavorists, work primarily in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and pet industries. They use scientific and analytical tools, along with creativity, to boost natural flavors and create new ones.
Flavor Chemist Duties
Flavor chemists examine the characteristics of proteins, fats, starches, carbohydrates, natural flavors and other components. They determine the role each component has in a particular flavor or food and explore how that role is affected by additives. Flavor chemists develop flavors that remain sharp even when put through various methods of food preparation such as processing, freezing, cooking or boiling.
Essential oils, plant extracts, aroma chemicals, natural flavors and artificial ingredients are all manipulated by flavor chemists to develop new flavors. Flavor chemists can create flavors that smell better, have a more distinct taste and last longer than natural flavors. They can also reformulate flavors so they don't irritate consumers' allergies.
Before flavor chemists can enhance a natural flavor, they must first recreate the natural flavor in the lab. To do this, flavor chemists are reliant on previous research from flavor chemists who figured out the chemical makeup of a majority of naturally-occurring flavors. The research enables flavor chemists to use various mathematical formulas that indicate how much of certain substances must be blended together to achieve certain characteristics.
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