Processors can grab ideas from molecular gastronomy

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Cosser: 'This is a celebration of creativity and technology'
Cosser: 'This is a celebration of creativity and technology'

Related tags Cooking Heston blumenthal Food

Restaurant-inspired molecular gastronomy offers considerable potential for food manufacturers’ new product development (NPD), according to Stefan Cosser, head of innovation at consultancy Food Innovation Solutions (FIS).

Cosser cited work on pimiento stuffed olives as an example of the specialism, which he said he preferred to call “modernist cuisine”​, referencing the book Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking​ by Nathan Myrhvold.

“When we look at a simple retail product like pimiento stuffed olives, the pimiento is actually pur​éed and then extruded and set into a gel using sodium alginate and calcium chloride,”​ he told

“This process is identical to some of the techniques used in modernist cuisine and has actually been around in manufacturing for decades before chefs in restaurants adopted it.

‘New formats and shapes’

“What chefs are doing is taking these techniques further and creating new formats and shapes, for example olive oil pearls set in a sodium alginate gel.”

Modernist cuisine was celebrating such advances in technology and cooking in order to create novel dishes and improve on classic recipes, he said.

However, he acknowledged that the experimental cooking style would not have universal application or appeal for manufacturers.

‘Exciting and fun’

“The novel and experimental side of modernist cuisine has its time and place. It’s possible to create foams that are lighter than air and intriguing gels and flavour combinations. This is a celebration of creativity and technology. It is exciting and fun, but not something I would want to eat every day.”

Sous vide was another example of a longstanding cooking technique that had only caused a real sensation in restaurants in the past 10 years, said Cosser.

“There is now so much potential which is just waiting to be translated properly back into manufacturing,”​ he added.

Before joining FIS, which works with high profile food and drink brands and retailers, Cosser was senior development chef at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck restaurant.

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1 comment

Food Safety Fit?

Posted by Jo Head,

As raised in August 2011 , this is potentially very dangerous territory.
At least Modernist Cuisine includes food safety hazard warnings.

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