Leatherhead Food Research is an independent membership-based organization delivering innovative research, scientific consultancy and regulatory guidance and interpretation. Today we talk with Hazel Lee, a creative and enthusiastic Food Scientist, who investigates and developes new products in this organization.
Last 19 th of September, they celebrated the Food Innovation Day (we explain what this day consisted on just few lines below) where they presented our innovative and flavouring recipes with mushroom and chocolates. Hazel summarized the experts’ feedback after tasting them.
Can you explain a little about Food Innovation Day?
Leatherhead’s Food Innovation Day is an annual members-only event which highlights some areas of exciting technology developments that are attracting interest in the food and beverage industry. Included are case studies in novel ingredients, product characterisation methodologies, and manufacturing for improved efficiency. The day was split into a morning session with presentations and an afternoon session of interactive demonstrations including the Global New Product Exhibition which showcased over 380 innovative new products from around the world.
What types of people were there? How many people visited?
Delegates who attended were all members of Leatherhead (we have 1500+ members from across the globe) and included retailers, manufacturers and ingredients companies.
How were our chocolates with mushrooms received?
Most delegates were very intrigued by the mushroom chocolate bars because they had never seen anything like it before! However, most were happy to sample them with mixed reviews of the different bars.
Did they understand the concept/science behind the product?
We included some product catalogues on display which highlighted the concept behind the bars, however, those who did not read the catalogue were not fully aware of the concept behind the products and the properties of the mushrooms.
“Most delegates were very intrigued by the mushroom chocolate bars because they had never seen anything like it before!”
Do you and did they like the packaging?
Yes, the packaging was simple yet striking with both images and illustrations of the mushrooms included in the bars.
Which flavour was the favourite and least favourite? And why?
The overall favourite was the Chocolate Digest bar because the balance of the three different mushrooms worked really well with the chocolate, giving subtle woody and earthy notes. The least favourite was the Milk Chocolate Shiitake – some people found the flavour a little too strong whilst others weren’t keen on the texture of the mushroom pieces in the chocolate.
Finally describe in 1 or 2 words, what were people’s reactions to our chocolate?
Intrigued and surprised, because the idea of the mushroom chocolate bars stirred a lot of interest and most delegates who were reluctant to try them were surprised that they did enjoy some of the bars.
Our chocolates are going to be back to Leatherhead Food Research next month taking part in the Chocolate Confectionery Production training course and in the Taste Trends – Ideas and Inspiration for NPD, the conference which will be held on 3rd December 2014. We hope see you there falling in love with pure chocolate.