I have a baked good recipe that I want to commercialize. I need to:
Stabilize shelf life
Scale the recipe for co-packer
I have someone I want to work with that is a trained baker and is knowledgeable
She says she works with a F.S. for what she’s not able to answer.
Should I primarily be working with someone whose a food scientist? Thoughts?
I know this sounds over simplified, but I would work with both (assuming your budget allows this) as each has their own expertise. I would start with the food scientist, and then have the baker play around with the ingredients and cooking methods to check taste, texture and quality.
I can connect you with a good food scientist if you like. The fee for this will be a 'thank you' and a smile (you have to do both, otherwise no deal) :-)
In order to comply with your country's regulations on food additives, naming, nutrition labeling, etc, you will likely need a food scientist. It's probably best to work with the baker first, finalize the recipe, then work with the food scientist to review legality and regulatory approvals, naming and labeling issues, claims and communications, and scale-up considerations. I have such experience in the US, and I am happy to chat if you have questions.
I really believe it is the food scientist who be a great help to you in commercialization of your baked good recipe, but that is not all as he comes at step 8 of the process, there are many other steps that must join together in the process of your commercialization of your product. Let us look at the steps one-by-one:
Step #1 Do Your Research: You have an idea for a great new product. Perhaps it is an energy bar, a smoothie, or a new trail mix. It might be something with probiotics or a seasoning blend. You are sure it will be the next big hit but making that happen takes serious research. First, do not assume your idea is original. It is possible the product is out there, but you have not seen it. If it is not on the market, maybe that is because it cannot be manufactured or has no market potential. If you start up a food company based on a whim, you are headed for trouble. Here is what to do before diving in. Attend industry trade shows to discover what is hot on the market. Many start-up companies exhibit at these shows, where you can see the cool ideas that people hope will take off. The shows also often feature seminars where you can learn about food safety, regulations, functional ingredients, food trends and packaging technology.
Step #2 Make Sure You Have Funding: Do you have money? I am not just talking about the money you need to pay a consultant (rates range from $125 -$250 per hour) –but production costs as well. Average food production start-up costs can be anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000 just to bring your first production run to market. You will have to either use your own personal wealth, find an investor who is willing to take a risk, or get a bank loan. Funds will be needed to buy ingredients, pay a co-packer, do microbiology testing, shipping, packaging, warehouse storage, slotting fees, marketing costs and so on.
Step #3 Get An NDA/Confidentiality Agreement in Place: People talk, and the food industry is a small place. Have your lawyer draw you up a simple NDA and have anyone you share your idea with –sign it. The guy you told your story to on the plane, the investor, your consultants- even your mom should sign it- it just promises that they won’t tell anyone your idea, or worse-steal it for themselves.
Step #4 Decide If You Are Going to Be Certified Organic: You cannot scan a supermarket shelf or order from a menu without seeing the term “organic” these days. And if you are like a fair number of start-up food producers, you are probably interested in producing a product that deserves to bear the designation. But what, exactly, does “organic” mean? And who gets to decide what it is, and what it is not? That certification and the qualifications behind it, are spelled out in the National Organic Program (NOP), which falls under the review of USDA. NOP develops national standards that assure consumers that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform rules. If you choose to go organic, this will help you narrow down your co-packer and ingredient sourcing options.
Step #5 Find a Co-Packer: Co-packer, co-manufacturer and “co-man” are the terms that refer to a facility that either manufactures your product or receives your finished good in bulk and packages it for you. Depending on the nature of your product, it is crucial that this step take place in the early stages of your development! The co-packer will determine how your product can be made (from a safety and economic standpoint) and they may have processing limitations. They can also inform you of FDA and USDA regulations that may affect how the product should be created! Finding a co-packer online can sometimes be frustrating. Co-manufacturers’ own websites are often designed for people already in the know. Descriptions of their processes may use strange terms like “flexible pouch retort,” “extrusion facility,” or “form and fill sealers.” Nevertheless, with careful research, evaluation, and patience you will usually find what you need.
Step # 6 Understand Your Product Regulations: Meat products (like beef jerky) are regulated by the USDA and canned vegetables are regulated by the FDA—All food products are regulated by some sort of federal, state and/or local agency and you don’t want to break any of the rules! Your co-packer in step #5 will have explained some of these regulations to you, but you can access all that information on the USDA or FDA website.
Step #7 Audit The Co-Packer: Once you decide who is going to make your product, you want to do a final sweep and make sure the place is clean and fit to make food for human consumption. Don’t just take the co-packers word or even a 3 party’s word- that their facility is clean and GMP compliant. Pay your own auditor and make sure the co-packer follows all state and federal regulations. While the co-packer is ultimately responsible for anything that leaves their facility, it’s still and always will be-your good name on the line.
Step #8 Find a Food Science Consultant: We are the few and the proud and we are called “Food Scientists” and if you don’t have any experience making or manufacturing products, you definitely need to hire one. There are big consulting firms and independent specialists-the key is finding the one that knows how to make your type of product. Making yogurt? Find someone with a dairy background. What about beef jerky? Find someone who is an expert at making dried meat- because beef jerky is a combination of art and science! Not all food scientists can make all food products and you want someone who can breeze through it, not troubleshoot around too much. Interview several consultants and make sure you “connect” with them. Creating food gets personal and you need to find someone you can trust.
Step #9 Find A Testing Laboratory: Find a local certified laboratory that specializes in food testing and develop a relationship with them. Let them know what you are planning to do (after they sign an NDA!) and get a general idea of what types of tests will be needed to measure the quality and safety of your product.
Step #10 Create A Prototype: With a co-man in your back pocket, your newly hired food scientist on hand- and a good understanding of how much your production costs will ultimately be- you can now proceed with creating a prototype. Keep in mind everything you learned from your co-packer—what type of equipment do they have in their plant? Are there any forbidden allergens? Peanuts, an allergen in the food industry are sometimes not allowed in certain facilities- and it is important to remember this when formulating your product. Your food scientist should have good understanding of how the co-packer will manufacture your product and should be able to formulate accordingly.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath