Pierre Sbabo, CEO The food tasting profession is as niche as it is coveted!
Whenever we come across the word ‘food taster,’ we immediately associate it with a person being paid to try out delicacies all day, stopping only to take a few notes before picking up their cutlery again. However, food tasting is not all only about eating. It is imperative for a food taster to have a superior sensory acuity of taste, smell, and texture to not just be able to focus on the multiple layers of flavours in a portion of food but also differentiate them. More importantly, the profession entails evaluating new recipes, providing feedback to chefs, and participating in taste panels.
Hence, to say that such supertasters are the linchpin of food and beverage companies might be an understatement. However, with constantly evolving regulations on the safety of these human tasters and the rapid upscaling of food processing industries, it is becoming imperative for organisations to rethink their approaches. And add the current pandemic crisis into the mix—where humans have to maintain constant distancing and avoid contact with products—the traditional forms of food tasting are increasingly seeming impractical.
But, is there any other alternative that can match the sophistication and nuances of the human sensory system?
The answer is a resounding yes! Alpha MOS—a developer, manufacturer, and seller of innovative sensory analysis solutions—has opened the door into the future of automated sensory analysis, where machines can deliver accurate, uninterrupted, and seamless ‘food tasting’ to complement the human-led taste panels. Today, the company is empowering food and beverage industries all over the world to shed their antiquated processes and embrace the future with its artificial, automated tongues, noses, and eyes that mimic the role of human testers without compromising on the food quality or human safety.
Ushering an Era of Innovation into the Food and Beverage Industry
The food and beverage industry is changing at a rapid rate. “On the one hand, consumers are increasingly turning towards sustainable and alternative protein sources, and on the other, the government agencies are tightening their safety compliance regulations,” says Pierre Sbabo, CEO of Alpha MOS. As a result, organisations have to ensure that their alternative food products are healthy and safe, while also being appealing to the senses of their consumers. “We, at Alpha MOS, have meticulously studied these nuanced requirements of the food and beverage
industry and designed our sensory analysis portfolio to meet those precise requirements,” mentions Sbabo. Today, organisations can leverage the Alpha MOS’ accurate sensory analysis and evaluation to perfect their products. The company’s robust solutions—HERACLES Neo, ASTREE, and IRIS—are designed to mimic the functions of the human nose, tongue, and eyes, respectively, and are further augmented by a sensory analysis software, AlphaSoft.
HERACLES Neo, the electronic nose, uses gas chromatography for an accurate analysis of a product’s aroma. Alongside, the AroChemBase feature of HERACLES Neo enables clients to go beyond the primary analysis and investigate the chemical composition of the aroma as well. Equally impressive is ASTREE, the company’s electronic tongue, designed to seamlessly characterise the taste of different products. Using ASTREE, clients can avert the potential health hazards to their panel of tasters.
And when it comes to colour and shape analysis, Alpha MOS’ electronic eye, IRIS, offers unparalleled accuracy. The solution provides actionable insights regarding the aesthetics of the product, enabling clients to enhance the visual component of their food products and pave the way for a positive visual perception by consumers.
And, AlphaSoft ties all these functionalities together, providing clients full control and visualisation over the automated ‘tasting’ process. The sensory analysis software gathers data from all three sensory solutions and converts it into actionable insights, which can be leveraged to enhance the overall performance. It also allows clients to easily monitor their settings, define the analysis sequences, and perform data acquisition directly from their devices.
Driving Clients to Success
It is not just these unparalleled solutions but also the exemplary workforce of Alpha MOS that has propelled them to the helm of the sensory analysis market. The company has a highly-skilled team of engineers and scientists spread across the globe to help clients in the food and beverage industry incorporate the cutting-edge sensory analysis solutions. “We conduct an initial assessment to understand client needs first, and then draw a personalised game plan for onboarding our sensory analysis solutions,” says Sbabo. The implementation process takes only a matter of few days before the automated sensory analysis system is up and running. Even after implementation, the company provides continuous support, whether it is the annual maintenance or monthly assessments of the installed solutions. And in some cases, Alpha MOS also has the provision of assigning an experienced engineer at the customer site to manage the equipment.
We, at Alpha MOS, have meticulously studied these nuanced requirements of the food and beverage industry and designed our sensory analysis portfolio to meet those precise requirements
These unparalleled capabilities have been making Alpha MOS one of the most preferred solution providers for the food and beverage sector. For instance, the company has been working with a large carbonated soft drink company with over 1000 bottling sites. The client sought to augment the throughput and reliability of its testing capabilities. This was when they turned to Alpha MOS. By leveraging the company’s sensory solutions, the client was able to boost their testing speeds and raise the standards of their product quality in several sites, across North America and Asia.
This is but one success story among many that Alpha MOS has penned over the years. With a diverse and motivated team at its helm, the company is pulling no brakes when it comes to driving its sensory products to their greatest potential. Moving forward, the company will continue investing heavily in emerging sensor technologies, and consequently, expand into other sectors. For Alpha MOS, this is just the beginning of its journey to lead the food and beverage sensory analysis industry in years to come.