AAK USA Inc., manufacturer of high value-adding specialty vegetable fats and oils, recently hosted a Bakery Academy at their Edison, New Jersey Customer Innovation Center. Known around the world for its co-development process and partnerships formed to support valued customers, AAK regularly hosts these hands-on AAK Academy learning events. The Bakery Academy is the first such event held in the USA for food ingredient customers and is part of a series AAK will host throughout 2018.
“We were pleased to host our first Bakery Academy at our Edison Customer Innovation Center,” said Dr. James Jones, vice president cstomer partners. Our Customer Innovation team shares a wealth of technical knowledge regarding fats and oils in food systems, and then relates the science to consumer new food product development, quality and innovation. The day typically consists of several learning modules, with a hands-on learning component in our labs, enabling customers to gain deeper insight into the value-adding capabilities we provide as we work together to develop the forward-thinking innovation necessary to create products that consumers will love.”
An AAK Academy typically consists of a series of short courses covering AAK’s capabilities, the Co-Development process, fats & oils solutions, consumer food product and industry applications experience, and industry dynamics impacting product development. The recent Bakery Academy courses also included:
- Physical and Chemical Aspects of Fats and Oils–basic fat chemistry, sourcing oils and sustainability, the refining process, QA capabilities and recommendations for handling oils
- Spotlight on Cakes and Icings–function of fat in various types of cakes, icings, dry mixes, and related products and how to select the right fat for the right application
- The Use of Emulsifiers in Fats and Oils–highlighting emulsifiers in cake applications
- Lab Application Work–hands-on component working with AAK’s shortenings, along with emulsifiers, in cakes
- The Uses of Flaked Fats in Bakery Products–production, benefits and application guidance
- AAK’s Bakery Product Portfolio–overview of AAK’s primary product lines for bakery applications
Today, AAK continues to expand their U.S. footprint by investing in facilities and capabilities dedicated to supporting customer partners in each region. Additional Academies are planned in 2018 including a September Confectionery Academy in Edison, New Jersey as well an October Bakery Academy in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We also welcome our customers to request a dedicated Innovation Day with AAK,” added Jones. “These one-on-one lab sessions take on a specific customer challenge at any one of Customer Innovation Centers across the country and enable rapid concept development, ‘protocepting’ and product development. By working together for a day or two in our labs, we are able to accomplish more product development work than would typically be completed in a month or more working independently.”