The Secret Ingredient? Data

Staying ahead of the curve in the food industry requires creativity and innovation, but economy, longevity and mass appeal are the cornerstone of the food franchise industry.

The Secret Ingredient? Data

So, computational creativity might just be the trump card for standing out from the crowd while appealing to them at the same time

Computational creativity and the food industry

IBM researchers have built a system using data and computational creativity to explore flavour combinations in a way that people do, only much better.

Top chefs with refined palates are excellent at pairing up to three ingredients, while computational creativity allows for combinations of four or more.

This creates potential to radically transform the food industry that is in constant search of new and different flavour combinations that will be commercially successful. Not only that, it shortens the time for bringing new flavours to market.

How it works

Research scientist at IBM, Dr Lav Varshney, explains that humans have a hard time remembering and reasoning large data sets. This is where computation comes in.

“Chefs can select an ingredient they find interesting, set up some parameters for the dish and types of ingredients they want to include, and wait to see what comes out of a quintillion possibilities. The system also rates surprise, pleasantness, pairing, and comes up with regional cuisines.”

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Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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