What's Next for Flavors and Product Development?

What are the creative implications of teaching a supercomputer to cook?
What are the creative implications of teaching a supercomputer to cook?

Presented by Perfumer & Flavorist magazine, Flavorcon 2015 includes a tabletop exhibition in addition to in-depth conference sessions from leading industry experts. The conference is uniquely tailored for professionals involved in the development of flavors and food & beverage products. Registration is now open.

Big data, clean labels, health and nutrition, sensory science breakthroughs—the needs of the world’s 7 billion consumers are changing rapidly, as are the technical tools and insights used to meet them.

From ingredients to formulation techniques to the latest in odor and taste breakthroughs, Flavorcon 2015, taking place November 16–17, 2015, at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will explore the latest insights into flavor and product development.

Cognitive Cooking Innovations

Can computing reinvent food? It already has.

IBM’s Cognitive Cooking project scanned millions of recipes, chemical compositions and taste profiles of ingredients, extracted the information and analyzed the connections among recipes, ingredients and psychophysical aspects of flavor perception.

Cognitive Cooking has so far yielded a food truck featuring Chef Watson’s own recipes, an app and a book. During Flavorcon 2015, IBM Fellow and Research Lead Krishna Ratakonda will discuss the role of big data in boosting creativity, while offering examples of Chef Watson’s innovations and commercial applications in the flavor and fragrance industry.

Sensory Science Breakthroughs

Insights into the mechanisms of odor and taste are reinventing humans' understanding of their senses and creating new frontiers in formulation science for flavors, foods and beverages.

During Flavorcon 2015, Monell researcher Paul Wise and Monell director Robert Margolskee will discuss the science of taste and odor. While Wise will present a talk on the interaction of taste and smell in flavor perception, Margolskee will present the latest research on new mechanisms of sweet taste—a critical component in formulating healthier foods and beverages.

Why Do Products Fail and How Can Success Be Optimized?

About 63% of consumers like new product introductions, while 57% purchased a new product during their last shopping trip, according to Nielsen research. Yet the Harvard Business Review has put the failure rate of new products at 60–80%.

Meanwhile, products introduced into the retail grocery channel fail at a rate of 70–80%, according to figures cited by the University of Toronto. While the top 20 U.S. food companies enjoy a success rate of 76%, the bottom 20,000 food companies succeed at a rate of just 11.6%.

How can flavor companies and product developers optimize their odds of success?

According to Flavorcon 2015 speaker Barbara Busch (SENSANALYSIS), the low success rate of new product development (NPD) shows that too few products perform as expected. To increase market success, development teams can establish a crucial linchpin between sensory science and market research by giving consumers a say at the development stage.

Supporting Creative Excellence

Products’ success also depends heavily on the creativity of the teams behind them.

In writing about the enabling of “group genius” in Wired magazine, digital leader and author Paul Roberts focused on eliminating structural elements from organizations that hamper creativity, while fostering collaboration and leveraging diverse expertise.

In her Flavorcon 2015 presentation, flavorist Marie Wright (ADM/WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients) will discuss “rebooting” creativity among flavor and product development teams. Using a mix of insights and hands-on exercises, Wright will help creative groups become more successful.

Presenter Dolf DeRovira (Flavor Dynamics), meanwhile, will discuss the creative and technical aspects of meat and savory flavoring systems, which represent a market of more than $8.6 billion, according to market data company RTS. DeRovira will discuss the ingredients, microbiological considerations and labeling of meat, dairy and seafood flavors, while also reviewing key chemistries and, of course, the Maillard reaction:


In addition, flavorist and author John Wright will offer a presentation on how teams and organizations can be structured to optimize the flavor and product development process. In addition, he will lead an ingredient tasting and smelling session to provide creative possibilities for formulators.

Flavor Ingredients and Suppliers

Flavorcon 2015 will also include a tabletop exhibition of leading industry suppliers.

Sigma-Aldrich will be presenting nine new aroma raw materials, including items compliant with EU natural and food-grade requirements. Also being featured are rare materials like (Z)-5-octenyl acetate and ethyl-2,5-dihydro-4-methylthiazole. Stop by Table #15 to learn more about these ingredients, request a sample, and enter for a chance to win a set of wireless Beats Headphones.

For the latest information on speakers, presentations, exhibitors and more, visit www.Flavorcon.com.


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