Givaudan leverages AI for ‘next generation’ product development
Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing has unveiled Advanced Tools for Modelling (ATOM), a system that uses ‘state-of-the-art’ AI to ‘optimise food and flavour formulation’.
The flavour house said ATOM is built on over two decades of research. The new tool uses AI and data science techniques to ‘minimise trial and error’ in the iteration process. The aim is to ‘streamline’ end-to-end recipe creation.
“One of the best uses of AI is in reducing time in product development. ATOM quickly assesses the development need and provides formula concepts and direction – sometimes in ways that humans might never consider otherwise. Success comes from combining the output of the tools with the sensitivity and ingenuity of our experts,” Research Investigator Rahul Siva told this publication.
AI and data analytics are used to identify ‘positive and negative flavour drivers’ and explore ingredient synergies, to generate new options and insights aligned with consumer preferences.
“ATOM uses flavour pairing and consumer insights data, the result of several years of research, development and validation, to generate new options and insights aligned with consumer preferences,” Siva elaborated.
How the data points are selected and how the model is developed is ‘commercially confidential’, the flavours expert elaborated.
The results are displayed in ‘graphically rich and interactive dashboards’ that allow Givaudan to ‘co-create’ new recipes and product formulations with customers.
Off to a ‘highly successful’ start
Early projects using the tools have been ‘highly successful’, according to the company.
ATOM was recently used in a project to reduce salt in cheese snacks, a reformulation project that would normally take extensive trial and error. The team was able to ‘quickly’ identify a recipe that delivered a 33% reduction in salt, having narrowed it down to a much smaller range of options predicted by the AI.
Importantly, in blind tasting the reduced salt recipe scored ‘as highly’ as the original full-salt snack.
“The process has also proved highly successful for sugar reduction, vanillin replacement, and meat alternative projects,” the company noted.
An ‘ecosystem’ of digital tools
The development of ATOM is aligned with Givaudan Taste & Wellness’s ambition to ‘lead the way’ in digitalisation, part of its 2025 strategic plan.
ATOM is the latest addition to an ecosystem of digital and AI tools that allow Givaudan teams in all regions of the world to streamline the end-to-end creation process from conception to rollout.
“We see ATOM is an important part of our ecosystem of digital technologies. The AI in ATOM is able to talk to our other digital tools which allows us to personalise flavours based on individual preferences. We plan to build on enhancing these capabilities in the future,” Siva said.
Co-creation and collaboration are central to Givaudan’s approach and the company aims to ‘strike the right balance’ between AI and ‘human intuition’, Fabio Campanile, Head of Global Science & Technology, explained.
“Tools such as ATOM enable us to help our customers to go beyond consumer expectations, using insight, collaboration and innovation. Implementing what we call ‘wide-eyed thinking’ allows us to use these insights to leverage our curiosity and deep ingredient knowledge to accelerate new product development and create the food experiences of the future,” Campanile added.