A specifications technologist helps a beverage maker by providing advice relating to scientific, technical and legislative issues. Their key responsibility is to help their employer understand current food safety laws and packaging requirements.
For breweries, wineries, and distilleries that includes ensuring products are safe for consumption and correctly labeled to meet legal requirements. Correct labelling requires precise information about alcohol content, warning messages, and art work that is appropriate for alcoholic beverages.
They will work very closely with the regulatory team and make sure the products being produced are ready for sale and there are no legal issues preventing the product from reaching the market. Their feedback will also be used to help the product development team create new products.
Specifications Technologist Responsibilities
The most common roles carried out by a specifications technologist include:
- Creating and reviewing product specification requirements
They must create simple product specifications which can be understood by production staff and managers. For a beverage producer, these product specifications may include items like alcohol content levels and total calories per bottle.
- Review and approve packaging details and product artwork
The specifications technologist will be closely involved in the process of designing labels and packaging. They must ensure that all legislative requirements are met while keeping the product development team happy with the design of the product.
- Create standard operating procedures for artwork creation
They will develop operating procedures which highlight the content that must be included in every piece of artwork or promotional material created by the company. The artwork that is being created must be appropriate for every market that the facility’s products are being sold in.
- Have a very high level awareness of labelling requirements
The specifications technologist must have a strong understanding of the regulatory requirements for labels. They must understand the legislative requirements for every market in which the business sells products. They must transfer this knowledge to other staff in the beverage making facility in an easy-to-understand way. They must be on top of labelling policies, food safety legislation, and any upcoming changes.
- Manage specifications projects and deliver them on time
They will have to oversee a variety of projects relating to product specifications. These projects must be prioritised and completed in a timely fashion.
- Be available to answer questions from colleagues and clients
Colleagues and clients will occasionally have questions about how a product should be packaged, evaluated, or presented. They may also have questions about food standards or correctly evaluating product quality. The specifications technologist must be able to accurately answer these questions in an easy-to-understand way.
- Provide advice on technical aspects of products
The specifications technologist must evaluate the products being produced, providing advice on their shelf life and nutritional value.
- Help bring new products and promotional products to market
The specifications technologist works closely with the product development team to ensure new product lines and promotional products have fulfilled the requirements necessary to go to market.
- The specifications technologist should have a graduate degree in Food Science, Nutrition, or Science.
- Extensive practical experience with label regulations, specifications and artwork projects. Must have demonstrable knowledge of food safety laws and legislative requirements for the food products.
- Ideally, they would have experience working in new product development
- Ideally, they would have previously worked in the beverages industry
- High-level written and verbal communication skills
- Strong attention to detail and accuracy
- An analytical mind with the ability to review large volumes of complex legal and technical material
- Excellent IT skills
- Project management skills
- A strong work ethic and hands-on approach
- Planning and organisational skills
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