McCormick taps IBM AI to help create new seasoning products

Brittany A. Roston - Feb 4, 2019, 6:55pm CST
McCormick taps IBM AI to help create new seasoning products

Spice company McCormick has revealed that it tapped IBM’s artificial intelligence to bolster its flavor expertise. The company plans to launch a new product line called ONE later this year that features recipe mix flavors for a handful of popular dishes, including New Orleans Sausage and Tuscan Chicken. The new offerings are the by-product of McCormick’s vast data and IBM’s AI.

As with scent, flavor is a science. A vast number of spices exist that can be used to create a huge number of flavor combinations, but developing these new recipes takes time. Experts are tasked with not only identifying spices for any particular recipe, but also figuring out the right proportions in which to combine them, all the while considering things like individual variations in taste perception and culture preferences.

McCormick approached IBM about using its artificial intelligence technology to augment its existing work, the company revealed in an announcement today. According to IBM, its AI algorithms are able to help predict substitutions for formulas, the right ratios of materials for a recipe, and even how people are likely to respond to the flavor.

As well, the AI can predict how novel a system-generated formula is. McCormick was able to bring a huge amount of applicable data to the table, according to IBM, including its historical flavor formulas, test results from experiments and consumers, raw materials available for use, and more. The project between the two companies has been ongoing for four years.

Sometime around this summer, McCormick plans to launch its new ONE product line with flavor creations made possible, in part, by IBM’s AI. The company explains that its artificial intelligence was able to help McCormick come up with flavor solutions that were otherwise missed while speeding up the entire process.

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