Postharvest Research Associate

Chicago, IL
Did you know that over 30% of fresh produce grown in the world goes to waste and never reaches consumers?

At Hazel Technologies, Inc., we think this waste is unacceptable. We are a USDA-funded startup company that is reducing the huge amounts of waste in our global food supply chain every day. Our work has been featured in TechCrunch, the Chicago Tribune, and Crain’s Chicago Business, and we need your help to expand our impact!

Job Description: 

Hazel Technologies is searching for a postharvest specialist with experience in fruits and vegetables. Candidates must have a history of team based, applied research, and integrating feedback from the customer-facing team and the field to build applicable and implementable technologies from day 1. A passion for agriculture and innovation is essential.

  • Get in on the ground floor. You will become an early team member at one of the fastest growing startups in Ag-Tech, according to American Inno’s “Top Green Tech Startups to Watch”
  • Create an impact. Solve the problems of tomorrow: you will be helping to save food every day that would have gone to waste. Hazel Tech has received the prestigious USDA Phase II SBIR Grant, $600,000 in federal funding given only to the most impactful technologies in the future of the agricultural industry.
  • Learn what it takes. You will hone your business and operations skills, learning directly from Hazel Tech executives, co-founders, and advisors every day.  “Hazel’s technology has the potential to make a real impact on a massive scale,” - S2G Ventures, Venture Capital Firm started by OpenTable Founder, Chuck Templeton, lead investor in Hazel Tech.


The candidate will work as a part of the Hazel Technologies postharvest agriculture team, helping design and implement new postharvest technologies from field to fork and from inception to deployment. There will be a large focus of record keeping, data entry, and administration.  Day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • New postharvest treatment development
  • Experimental design
  • Data acquisition and entry
  • Technical report preparation
  • Following up on logistics trials of new products
  • Test produce photography
  • Obtaining wholesale produce from local markets
  • Laboratory Organization and Maintenance
  • Analysis across a wide range of different produce types

The ideal candidate will be able to translate the results of analytical trials and studies to our sales force and customers through customer-facing collateral data.  


  • 4-year degree in a technical field
  • Fluent communication skills in spoken and written English are required
  • Access to a car
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Exposure to scientific writing in coursework
  • Familiarity with basic statistical methods and analysis.
  • Key technical skills used in this position will include analysis of volatiles with techniques like gaschromatography, as well as industry ­standard post-harvest metrics like color, TSS, titratable acidity, and respiration rate. Previous experience in these is valued
  • Independent research interests are strongly encouraged and the opportunity for new product development is available
  • A passion for agriculture or horticulture

Recommended but not required:

  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Proficiency in R or related software
  • Specific technical experience in any of the following crops: Apples, Pears, Stone Fruit, Melons, Tropical Fruits, Avocado, Mango, Tomato, Persimmon, Cherries, Strawberry, and Raspberry.
  • 4-year degree in an agricultural or plant biology field
  • Previous research experience in agriculture


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