Bernard Lahousse is one of the founders of Foodpairing.com, an innovative web tool that helps food professionals discover exciting new flavour combinations. This tool provides Foodpairing trees that can be used for creating recipes or product development. We spoke with Bernard about his concept and the upcoming developments.
Foodpairing is based on the principle that foods can be combined when they share major flavour components. Foodpairing scientists actually know which specific molecule causes a specific aroma. The visualizations of all the resulting possible pairings are called Foodpairing trees. In one overview, the tree gives you all the possible combinations you can make. Your selected product is positioned in the center and all around it are products with which it can be combined. For Puratos, Foodpairing analysed various breadtypes and the Belcolade Origins chocolates.
Work with Foodpairing®
The tool that is now operational works particularly well for high-end chefs. They use the tool as a source of inspiration. But there is a large group of chefs and companies who need a little more direction and guidance when innovating or modernizing.
Users can use a free version or subscribe to a complete database at a small monthly fee. Large companies, like supermarkets, quick service restaurant chains or industrial bakeries can use Foodpairing as a new product development tool. It enables them to carry out product development more efficiently. In addition, there are a number of possibilities to build specific applications powered by Foodpairing, which can be used for sales, marketing or branding. Applications powered by Foodpairing can next to combinations also generate complete recipes.
Revamp existing dishes
Lahousse recognises the contradiction in the consumer desire for tradition on the one hand and innovation on the other. This also emerged from the Taste Tomorrow study. Foodpairing satisfies this desire by helping chefs to revamp existing dishes and ingredients. A growing group of consumers are more conscious of what they eat. And there is more demand for high-quality products and basic ingredients for a reasonable price. In concrete terms, this means that more attention is paid to the origin of products with a focus on quality.
In terms of Foodpairing, this has resulted in an increasing demand for the analysis of local products. Belcolade Origins is a good example of this. At the moment, research is being conducted into products from the Amazon region.
Plans for the future?
“It is our ambition to become a global player in foodpairing. We are going to further internationalise the concept”, according to Lahousse. We will shortly be opening our first office in New York. We are now strongly expanding our partnerships with companies, such as Puratos, and developing tailor-made applications. In the short-term, we are going to focus more on sales tools and retail applications. There are also opportunities for online applications. It is all about customized upselling, which – because it is personalised – is not considered to be annoying.”