Skip Navigation


Passion is the pulse of Purina. You don’t have to be a pet owner, but you must be able to find your square – find passion in the work you do, the people you encounter and the opportunities you experience. Within our walls, you’ll discover ways to do what’s never been done before, and you’ll do it with integrity and expertise. Your relentless pursuit to break boundaries, pioneer new brands and revolutionize the bond between pets and people will help you fit right in. Working together, #WeStandTaller.

Sensory Laboratory Technician

Job Number 18008646 Company Nestle Purina PetCare Company Location Saint Louis, Missouri


Job Summary:

This position is responsible for all aspects of set up and administration of routine and non-standard sensory tests and coordination of the sensory panels functioning in a research and development environment.  Work is conducted under general supervision.


Organize and administer all aspects of sensory descriptive and affective tests for pet food, treats and litter products and packaging applying defined methodologies designed by sensory scientists while insuring a high standard of scientific integrity. Responsibilities include leading descriptive panels in execution of product testing, appropriate test set-up and execution, and valid data management.  The job scope includes ensuring compliance to detailed testing protocols using objective scaling.

This function includes but is not limited to the following:

•Provide weekly training to panelists to support projects

•Lead panel through product evaluations

•Maintain attendance and payment records for panelists

• Work closely with the Sensory Manager to provide performance feedback to panelists

• Create required draft test materials to execute sensory and employee consumer testing from criteria provide by sensory scientist.

• Finalize and validate test design in the appropriate sensory software application.

• Schedule panelists and guide their completion of assigned tests through accurate instruction and addressing concerns.

• Execute test, validate data and report basic findings to sensory scientist. 

• Archive study details and data utilizing templates and applications of software programs. 

• Independent execution of routine tests and basic reports may be assigned depending proven competency level.  This is at the discretion of the department leader.

Manage scheduling, notification, recruiting and training processes of descriptive panels as assigned and/or in collaboration with team members.

Execute panel performance monitoring program to ensure achievement of performance standards.  In collaboration of sensory scientist, support panelist training and improvement action plans.

Support maintenance and application of sensory hardware/software systems.  Collaborate with IT and/or team members to resolve system issues as needed.

Responsible for all aspects associated with sensory laboratory function, including by not limited to:

• Organization and cleanliness of lab

• Development and maintenance of documents such as SOPs, inventory, etc.

• Procurement of lab supplies while adhering to company policies and department budget

• Coordinate product sample/reference preparation, storage facility upkeep, proper disposal of materials and support for studies conducted by external agencies  10%

In collaboration with sensory scientist, participate to protocol development and support writing of SOPs for all procedures developed. Actively apply new protocols and/or tools to collect and analyze sensory and consumer data. 5%

Support department knowledge management and continuous improvement initiatives as assigned. 5%


• Successfully develop and maintain good ways of working with affiliated labs and pilot facilities

• Actively participate in cross training as needed to learn new skills required for sensory and consumer methodology advances and professional development

• Maintain competency with computer programs in support of the essential job functions (e.g. Microsoft, SAP, EyeQuestion, etc.)

• Conduct activities in compliance with all required company policies and procedures

• Actively practice safety in the workplace

• Additional duties as assigned


• Receives formal technical and professional guidance the department manager

• Receives informal technical guidance from department sensory scientists


JOB QUALIFICATIONS (Education, Experience, and Knowledge):


• Minimum High School Diploma (or GED)

• 1+ year running a descriptive  pannel

• Non-smoker with no medical conditions that would affect sense of smell

• Excellent learning agility with desire to excel

• Precise and conscientious worker with sense of responsibility

• Good teamwork, interpersonal, communication, organization and writing skills

• Excellent working knowledge of Good Laboratory Procedures

• Computer literacy (Microsoft Word, Excel)

• Comfortable working and communicating with broad range of employee and external panelists

• Proactive / self-starter




• BS in Food Technology, Biology, Nutrition or Experimental Psychology training is a plus.

• Basic knowledge in sensory evaluation

• Basic knowledge of statistics and experimental design

• Certification in applied sensory and/or consumer sciences extension programs (e.g. UCDavis, UofGA, etc.)

• Food Technology or Experimental Psychology training is a plus



The Nestle companies are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers and are looking for diversity in candidates for employment: Minority/Female/Disabled/Protected Veteran

Job Alerts

Sign up for job alerts by choosing a job category and/or location. Select a term from the suggestions and click “add”. You must have at least one job category or location selected in order to subscribe. You will also be signing up for company updates by subscribing.

Interested InEnter Category, Location or Category/Location pair and click “add”

  • Research and Development, St Louis, Missouri, United StatesRemove
  • Nestle Purina, St Louis, Missouri, United StatesRemove