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McCormick and IBM add AI to the mix for developing new seasonings

The Hunt Valley-based tastemaker teamed with Big Blue to expand the creative palette for new seasonings.

Keeping spice giant McCormick in Maryland is one of R. Michael Gill's priorities.

(Photo by Flickr user Roadsidepictures, used under a Creative Commons license)

McCormick is adding artificial intelligence to the tools it uses to create new seasonings.

The Hunt Valley-based company responsible for spices and seasonings found on many grocery store shelves said Monday that it is teaming with IBM to use machine learning in the process of creating new flavors.

“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 flavor development process,” Kathryn Guarini, IBM VP of industry research, said in a statement.

The partnership combines IBM’s tech expertise and more than 40 years of data on recipe combinations and consumer taste gathered by McCormick. The two companies created a platform that’s designed to develop new “family favorite” flavors for seasoning proteins and vegetables. It provides product developers with an “expanded portfolio of flavor profiles” that can lead to new flavors they wouldn’t otherwise come up with, according to McCormick, which added that the initial work also helped to speed up the product development process.

The first results will be on shelves late this spring in the form of one-dish recipe mixes including tuscan chicken, bourbon port tenderloin and New Orleans-style sausage. McCormick also said it will use the technology in a business unit called flavor solutions, in which it co-creates flavors with big food and beverage brands.

McCormick said it is working on additional projects that use AI, and plans to scale the technology for use worldwide by 2021.

Companies: IBM
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