The month is coming to an end by expanding our knowledge. Yesterday, we were present at the 3rd International Conference on Food Design and Food Studies EFOOD2022 (Experiencing and Envisioning Food: Designing for Change) organised by FORK (Food Design for Opportunities, Research & Knowledge).

An event in which John Regefalk, coordinator of our culinary innovation area and professor of avant-garde techniques at BCC, held a talk on undisciplined methods for disruptive food NPD.

A significant part of his speech consisted of presenting what gastronomy means to BCC Innovation as a technology centre, where we work to promote gastronomy as an engine of change and evolution to achieve a sustainable, healthier and, of course, more delicious future!

WORKING LINES

He presented, from a culinary point of view, our most interesting lines of work:

  • The development of culinary-nutritional intervention programs for people with specific conditions and to promote healthy eating habits among the population. 
  • The development and promotion of novel foods and healthy diets, aiming at developing a personalized precision gastronomy
  • The revaluation and upcycling of sub- and by-products of the food industry and HORECA
  • The study of the interaction between food sensory characteristics and perception: its influence on products acceptance, emotions and food choices and habits.
  • The identification of new ingredients and the building of their gastronomic value through a creative approach and use of contemporary cooking techniques.
  • Investigation and recovery of heirloom ingredients and traditional techniques for the development of new healthier and more sustainable foods

OUR DIFFERENTIAL: A TEAM OF CHEFS

Regefalk emphasised the value and importance of belonging to a technology centre such as ours, which has a full team of chefs working alongside food scientists and technologists to create disruptive new food products.

As a Technology Centre focused on gastronomy, we are committed to multidisciplinary relationships in a highly dynamic I+D environment. We firmly believe that working together has many advantages, especially when it comes to getting to know different points of view and learning. 

In this respect, Regefalk states that the creative, free mind of the chef and the disciplined, methodological approach of the scientist are not always directly compatible and it is therefore vital to find a common language in order to make the best of both worlds.

FOOD PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT FROM A CHEF’S POINT OF VIEW

The chef’s point of view can be key:

“Chefs’ “undisciplined” (or even naive) view of the market and the food industry can be very useful in the development of new products and can also help companies adapt to new trends and hopefully surprise the consumer.”

– John Regefalk
What is high gastronomic value for chefs?
  • Products carefully elaborated to obtain a product with a quality superior to those of its category, starting from quality ingredients
  • Much tastier than average
  • Products with Storytelling
  • Personalization
  • Consumer-centered: which takes into account the preferences and needs of the public for which it is designed
  • Products that highlights or promotes the culture / tradition / heritage of a place, a people …

On the other hand, the lecture addressed other reflective topics such as the drivers and trends in the restaurant industry.

He also talked about BCC Innovation’s process for designing new food products: Contextualisation, ideation, experimental design, prototyping, validation and scale-up.

He especially focused on the culinary creativity for NPD and the ideation process in multidisciplinary teams and how to use tools to spark creativity in each one of the individuals involved.

The expert then goes on to discuss the different ways of innovating from a culinary point of view, through the introduction of novel ingredients, new technologies, the search for inspiration in other cultures or the use of products outside what we normally consider to be their usual context.

Finally, a question and answer session rounded off the meeting. John Regefalk, together with chef Cristina Bowerman from Rome (Italy), answered questions from the general public on aspects of sustainability in NPD, why industrial food isn’t better tasting and how designers could be of value in the creation of food products.