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Software to improve product development.

The quality of a food depends on a number of factors, including ingredients and process parameters. It is described by many attributes-smell, fat content, texture, pH, etc. When developing new products or improving existing ones, all of the important product attributes have to be perfect at just the right time, which means that the amount and types of ingredients and all process parameters have to be correct. To reach all these correct levels, product designers have to perform many tests, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.

To improve the product development process, scientists at Camo (Computer-Aided Modeling ASA, Nedre Vollgt. 8, N-0158 Oslo, Norway), the Norwegian Dairies and the Norwegian Food Research Institute developed Guideline, a software package and methodology. Guideline is intended to help product developers create better products in less time and at less cost. It is based on smart experiment plans, analysis of food product quality based on multiple quality measurements and statistical analysis.

The software is designed for product developers who lack statistical expertise, but it's also powerful enough to satisfy the needs of more advanced users. The software includes features for experimental design, response surface modeling, descriptive statistics and multivariate data analysis.

Most product developers have been trained to work sequentially. Identifying the best blends of ingredients and processing conditions traditionally has meant performing a long series of simple experiments in which one variable is changed at a time. Should these variables interact, it's not clear which factor has affected quality. But Guideline, we're told, encourages users to develop a systematic approach to product development through problem definition and goal formulation. It leads users through the complexities of advanced multivariate statistical analysis.

Product samples are measured to generate maximum data output. Variables, response measurements and sensory data are preselected to generate smart experimental plans. Guideline then analyzes the quality of each sample to provide information on which variables best match your product specification. By suggesting the best combination of ingredients and processing conditions, the software ensures objectives are met.

Guideline runs on IBM-compatible PCs on Microsoft Windows software and Windows NT. It is available for stand-alone or network use.

Further information. Anette Mjoen; phone: +47 2239 6300; fax: +47 2239 6322.
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Geographic Code:4EXNO
Date:Feb 1, 2000
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