Food Color Scientist

El Segundo, CA /
Innovation /

At Beyond Meat, we started with simple questions. Why do you need an animal to create meat? Why can’t you build meat directly from plants? Thus, we make plant-based meats that allow families to eat more, not less, of the traditional dishes they love while feeling great about the health, sustainability, and animal welfare benefits of plant protein. Our goal is to bring exciting change to the plate—and Beyond.


This is a full-time position in the Color Team, a part of the Innovation Team at Beyond Meat. The Color Team focuses on developing natural, plant-based color systems which convincingly replicate the appearance of animal meat products – both in the raw and cooked state. The Scientist will use scientific principles and expertise, as well as a broad range of advanced technologies and industrial tools, for achieving company goals.


    • Support the Innovation Team in attaining short-term and long-term goals, and adapt to evolving priorities
    • Leverage internal and external technologies to develop transformative products and provide a significant competitive advantage
    • Develop and modify new, clean-label pigments and dyes for use in food, from vegan ingredients
    • Generate new colorant systems which utilize additives, controlled-release technologies, physical modifications, or chemical modifications to control colorant stability and degradation
    • Investigate novel, clean-label approaches for modifying chromophore characteristics, such as: hue, color strength, stability, solubility, etc.
    • Explore the use of fermentation, oxidation, enzyme processing, ultrasonication, and other processes as means to controlling the physiochemical properties of color systems incorporated into the product
    • Translate bench-top processes to scale-up processes for new color technologies, including process validation, critical process parameter identification, and product verification and validation
    • Support the selection, design, and configuration of pilot-scale or manufacturing equipment required for new color technologies
    • Continuously search for and vet advanced technologies that complement areas of strategic focus
    • Develop food products that integrate encapsulated, coated and controlled-release ingredients on the bench or pilot scale, conduct pilot and commercial scale trials, establish data and make a technical case for product or technology feasibility
    • Actively support the innovation stage gate process: brainstorming and ideation sessions, concept development, concept screening, feasibility and commercialization
    • Build cross-functional support where appropriate and develop project plans to drive development and implementation
    • Provide written and verbal reports of research activities; participate in R&D and larger company meetings and effectively communicate findings with stakeholders and supervisors
    • Preserve all forms of intellectual and material property, contribute to writing patents and internal protocols
    • Provide general laboratory support, purchase equipment, purchase supplies, and share in kitchen and laboratory maintenance
    • Act as a liaison with suppliers, manufacturers, operation personnel, collaborators, and customers, while maintaining intellectual property and confidentiality 
    • Maintain a safe working environment


    • Ph.D. degree in Chemistry, Materials Science, Biotechnology; or Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Biotechnology; or equivalent industrial experience in natural colorant, textile, ink, polymer, cosmetic, paint, or similar technologies
    • Minimum 5-years relevant experience in academic or industrial research
    • Post-doctoral experience and industrial experience preferred
    • Prior research and development experience with natural colorants, and related secondary metabolites, including: betalains, carotenoids, anthocyanins, chlorophylls, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, antioxidants, and natural pigments derived from microorganisms like bacteria, yeast, fungi, microalgae
    • Understanding of how local matrix properties (including pH, ionic strength, concentration, heat transfer properties, solvent, identity and concentration of co-additives, and emulsifying conditions) impact the resulting color in a food product
    • Prior experience in color matching and process development spanning bench-to-pilot or commercialization scale 
    • Prior experience with characterization of color systems including determination of color strength, ensuring accurate color reproduction, quantifying the stability, degradation, and shelf-life of colorants, material and physicochemical properties, determination of colorant constituents and molecular identity, functional properties, and other techniques of the field
    • Understanding of food product development, food chemistry, instrumental analysis, processes used in food manufacturing and ingredients/materials processing, e.g., mixers, particle size reducers, homogenizers, dryers, freezers
    • Proven ability to combine scientific insight with strong technical skills and business acumen
    • Experience working in a matrix and highly collaborative team-oriented environment
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills; fluent in English, both written and spoken
    • Ability to manage multiple projects, prioritization and time management
    • Excellent analytical, organizational and multi-tasking skills, as well as the ability to interact and collaborate successfully with all levels and functional areas


    • Frequent sitting at a desk, communication using a computer and phone
    • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs. Ability to work in a manufacturing environment with sound levels exceeding an office setting, or requiring the use of hearing protection


    • Laboratory, shared office space, kitchen, manufacturing sites with some travel, up to 15%

Beyond Meat is an equal employment opportunity employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, ancestry, veteran status, marital status, gender identify, sexual orientation, national origin, liability for military service, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. If you are interested in learning the status of your application, please note you will be contacted directly by the appropriate human resources contact person if you are selected for further consideration. Beyond Meat reserves the right to defer or close a vacancy at any time.