If you wish to become a flavorist or food chemist, you will first have to begin by obtaining an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Most flavorists study either biology or chemistry at the undergraduate level, and then move on to food-specific studies at a post-graduate level. In some instances, a PhD may be required in order to obtain a job as a flavorist.
Within the United States, there are a few different colleges and universities that specialize in food science studies. These schools include the Universities of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan; Rutgers University and Cornell University also have top food science programs. Since any job related to food chemistry or food science is largely based upon curiosity, you must have a curious nature in order to become a flavorist.
These scientists spend their days mixing and matching specific chemicals in order to create unique flavors. Therefore, someone who works within the food science field must be creative and intuitive. Even though an academic background is important in order to gain a job as a flavorist, curiosity and creativity are two qualities that cannot be taught.
Food scientists must also have a general understanding of food composition. Many flavorists thoroughly enjoy the cooking process, since cooking can be a large part of working as a florist. Most spend a great deal of time working in laboratories in order to find unique flavor combinations. These laboratories are frequently equipped with standard kitchen equipment such as microwaves, stoves, blenders, and even complete kitchens.
Since the job of a flavorist is to combine different chemicals with everyday food, it is important that a flavorist knows how to create specific and desired reactions. Not only is it crucial that foods taste good, but any food developed by a flavorist must also be safe for human consumption. This type of knowledge can only be gained through academic work and through an intimate knowledge of food.
Many successful flavorists have an excellent sense of smell and taste, since these two senses are used on a regular basis within the food flavorist field. Thus, in order to become a flavorist, all of the factors mentioned above must be combined. To become a flavorist, begin by looking for a school in your area that offers an undergraduate degree in chemistry or biology. Once you have obtained the appropriate undergraduate degree, you will be able to decide if the career of a food chemist is the right path for you.