Could AI solve our meat alternative challenges?
Eating is a multi-sensory experience, all our sensory mechanisms working together to judge taste, flavour, texture, and assess the underlying nutrition.
Humans have evolved to become incredibly good at this, which can be a problem for innovators, particularly for those in the plant-based sector.
Because despite the huge amount of brainwork going into developing the taste and texture of plant-based meat alternatives, the bottom line is, we can often tell that it is a substitute.
Our senses tell us that it is not the same.
Now for some that is all part of the fun, having new taste experiences. But for many, the lure of animal protein is just too strong and they want an exact replica just without the animal.
So could artificial intelligence be the answer?
Could we use machine learning to match animal products to meat-free ingredients at the molecular level? To outsmart our senses and, possibly, save the environment at the same time.
That is the question which the people at the food tech company NotCo have asked themselves and which we explore in this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast.
Karim Pichara, Co-Founder, The Not Company
The Not Company is a global plant-based food tech unicorn founded in Chile, and the fastest growing food tech brand in Latin America.
Karim Pichara is known as “the father of Giuseppe,” the brand’s patented artificial intelligence technology that is the key to cracking one of the most challenging aspects facing the food industry today, creating mind blowing, delicious food that is good for our bodies and the environment.
Pichara leads a team of more than 50 people, including Machine Learning and Software engineers, food scientists and chefs in multiple countries working alongside Giuseppe to combine machine learning technology and breakthrough science to rapidly advance the development of the plant-based industry.
He is tasked with the design of NotCo’s AI approach and vision, and mapping Giuseppe’s collaboration with the human team.
The first-of-its-kind technology is designed to constantly learn, matching products at the molecular level to deliver plant-based derived options that taste, cook, and function just like their animal-based counterparts, the key to consumer adoption.