AI is even discovering new spices for our meals

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The world’s largest spice maker is hoping AI will help it come up with some new flavours in order to, uh, spice things up.

McCormick & Company has been around for 130 years and makes a wide range of seasonings, spices, and condiments. However, after that many years, it seems the firm’s human minds are running out of ideas.

Lawrence Kurzius, CEO of McCormick, said:

“McCormick’s use of artificial intelligence highlights our commitment to insight-driven innovation and the application of the most forward-looking technologies to continually enhance our products and bring new flavours to market.

This is one of several projects in our pipeline where we’ve embraced new and emerging technologies.”

The new line created by an AI will be called ‘One’ and will come to market later this year.

Focused on popular one-dish meals, the line will include flavours like Bourbon Pork Tenderloin and Tuscan Chicken.

McCormick partnered with IBM to provide the AI smarts behind the project.

Kathryn Guarini, VP of Industry Research at IBM, commented:

“IBM Research’s collaboration with McCormick illustrates our commitment to helping our clients and partners drive innovation across industries.

By combining McCormick’s deep data and expertise in science and taste, with IBM’s AI capabilities, we are working together to unlock the bounds of creativity and transform the food and flavour development process.”

The AI was trained on data about raw ingredients, seasoning formulas, sales, trend forecasts, and consumer tests of products. Based on this information, the AI can formulate what it thinks will be successful flavours.

Currently, the firm goes through around 50-150 iterations of a new product. Following this process, it’s then tested with sensory experts and consumers which can take up to six months.

McCormick believes the use of AI will help to slash product development time by around two-thirds.

I don’t know about you, but my stomach is grumbling.

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