The flavourings industry offers a broad range of career opportunities. From innovation and purchasing at the early stage of the creative process, to the flavourists and application chefs working on the production phase. There are also opportunities at the end of the flavour cycle, including roles in regulation and sales. Whether you’re at the start of your career in flavourings, or are interested in exploring the long-term opportunities available in the industry, there are plenty of training courses throughout the UK. Below are some pointers for the kind of degrees and training to consider.
For quality assurances/regulatory roles:
Food degree backgrounds are usually useful because they involve training and experience around risk assessment and systems management. A chemistry or biological science degree would lend itself well to regulatory roles.
- Degree in Food Science and Food Chemistry – universities such as Surrey, Leeds, Nottingham and Reading lead in this area, but courses are also available at many more.
- Masters degrees in Food Regulatory Affairs such as the e-learning option at Ulster (full or part-time).
For research and development roles:
Chemistry and chemical engineering backgrounds are in the most demand for roles within R&D departments. Most universities run courses on these areas.
For flavourist roles:
In January 2019, The Grasse Institute of Perfumery (the international institute for fragrance training) will be launching its ‘technical assistant in fragrances, flavours and cosmetics’ course. Intended for those looking to join the industry as perfumer assistant, flavorist assistant, or cosmetician assistant, the course will provide access to positions of preparation in production, or for physical-chemical analysis lab assistant.
Giract promotes flavour research amongst PhD students in Europe by awarding six first-year bursaries and one best thesis prize. More information can be found here
General qualifications and training
Although chemistry or food-related degrees, or even biological sciences, are usually the best route into the flavours industry, there are many other ways to access the opportunities available.
The International Centre for Aroma Trades Studies (ICATS) has been providing distance learning courses into the global perfumes and flavours industry for over a decade. Visit the website for more information about the courses available.
For many roles, general food and chemicals industry experience can provide a suitable level of knowledge. Personal attributes such as attention to detail and a scientific approach to problem solving, and logical thinking/reasoning are all useful contributors when considering a career in the flavours industry.
It’s also important to note that some roles may require knowledge and/or experience in HACCP / Food hygiene / BRCGS / Internal auditing.