Chef Allan Williams
Innovating Food Products
Extensive experience in the following areas:
Food Service and Hospitality Industry.
|Type of institution|
Holland College, Weymouth Street, Charlottetown, PE, Canada
|I have a knowledge mobilization grant.|
|Accommodation and food services|
Introduce your team
My name is Allan William. I’m one of the senior research and development Chefs here at Canada’s Smartest Kitchen.
Describe your research
Here at Canada’s Smartest Kitchen our team is comprised of three different disciplines. The first discipline being culinary. Chefs are known to make food look good, smell good and taste good. So it’s all about the sensory attribute of the product to make it successful.
Food science is more geared towards making products safe, nutritionally sound, maybe extending shelf life by slowing the microbial growth and dropping the pH. There’s a lot that we can do under the food science category.
The third pillar or discipline, as we call it is a business. Simply put, the product has to make money to be successful and we understand that. But it’s about a little bit more than that. It’s about understanding the market, understanding what consumers want. Understanding trends that are out there, especially up and coming trends.
Trying to be on the leading edge or get ahead of the other food manufacturers that are out there in the world. We work with our clients through what we call a smart process and it’s defined by the acronym SMART. The first being the strategic business review.
We actually go to the client’s facilities and see what equipment they have, what they don’t have, what expertise they have. It’s more about what they have and equally important what they don’t have because it is our opportunity to fill that void.
The A, once we have that information we look at the accelerated concept ideation. Taking that initial target and redefining it into something that’s a little more viable based on what we just said. Then we start the research and development. Through that we do we do bench top samples, we do evaluation of those with the client, with some potential customer, with the public depending on where the client is. We redefine it again then we go through the pilot scale.
After pilot scale, we go through what we call the T, which is technical scale up. That’s going through a full production and testing the market. We are portable individuals, that means that we do travel with our clients whether it be trade shows environment or sales pitches we can do that. We really do become an extension of their team.
We fill the voids that they have and we think that by doing that and we think that by doing that we help our clients become more successful in the marketplace.
Explain its significance
The work that we do here at Canada’s Smartest Kitchen is very important to food and beverage companies of all sizes. The companies themselves have normally been in business for a number of years, very well established, they are very good at what they do.
They have sound business practices in place. They have manufacturing practices in place and staff that are willing to work there. Where they struggle sometimes is along innovation. Sometimes they have good ideas, sometimes they see someone else doing something and they want to do a me too product or they just want some straight up innovation.
That is hard to find. Our team here is an innovation team, our facility is an innovation facility. So we can make small samples of product, we can do small testing through sensory evaluation whether bring our clients in, our clients’ customer in or people from the general public.
We have an email list that we send out and we have 60 or 100 people come in and taste the product and give us really good constructive criticism on that product. When we get into that bench top formulation, making small products we make maybe 6 or 8 samples at a time then we evaluate it.
We make it again, we make a couple of changes and we re-evaluate it again. And that process over and over will help us get to a product that is more ready for the marketplace or has a chance to be more successful in the marketplace.
And that’s what we want to do. So I think in the end our innovation team and our clients’ team is going to give the product a much better chance of success in the marketplace when we bring it to launch.