Analytical Flavor Systems Holds the Key to an Optimized Future for Food and Beverage Producers
How do you turn flavor into numbers? For Jason Cohen, CEO of Analytical Flavor Systems, that question guided his studies and research at Penn State – research that would become the backbone of his predictive manufacturing company.
In food and beverage production, quality and consistency are key, making contamination the enemy to successful brand upkeep and customer loyalty. And with the craft-beverage industry on the rise, quality and consistency are the guarantors of a competitive edge.
Enter Analytical Flavor Systems, whose product Gastrograph is a quality control tool with unprecedented capabilities. A blend of sensory science, data mining, and analytical chemistry equip the system to constantly monitor flavor profiles and anticipate minor flaws that could have major consequences.
After all, Cohen said, “The measure of a science is the ability to make correct predictions.” But in the realm of flavor? “Sensory science is barely explanatory at its best.” In other words, this “science” has been perhaps better defined as an art.
An Inside Look at Employees in the Park
“I’ve worked at Penn State for over 13 years with most of those years supporting researchers. Ten of those years were spent at the Applied Research Lab. More recently, working at Innovation Park in the Office of the Vice President for Research has exposed me to all the other many and varied aspects of research at Penn State. I learn something new every day about the important and amazing research that is being accomplished by both independent faculty and research done in cooperation with industry.”
IT Director, Office of the Vice President for Research at Penn State University
Tucked inside Penn State’s Office of Technology Management, in side-by-side offices, you’ll find Ruth Harpster and Kathy Kresovich, regular walking partners for 18+ years and avid participants in coolBLUE events hosted at Innovation Park.
Kathy, Administrative Support Coordinator, has been with the office for 23 years, and she manages the day-to-day operations and maintains the budget for the office. Right next door is Ruth, a patent manager who does paralegal and docketing work.
“Kathy was here before me,” Ruth said, “so we met when I started working here. We found we have similar interests, have children of similar ages, and both like to exercise.”
When asked how they stay motivated to be active, Kathy said, “I think it’s the buddy system. There are days if I was by myself I wouldn’t walk, but I’m counting on her to walk and she’s counting on me.”
Both are also amateur photographers. They’ve taken tons of photos at the park and other areas around Happy Valley. In fact, they learned most of what they know about photography through a class offered at the park.
On May 24, the Ben Franklin TechCelerator@State College graduated a six-team cohort from its 10-week Business Startup Boot Camp. Don McCandless, TechCelerator director, opened the graduation ceremony and introduced the six presenters. Each team leader presented in front of three judges and a crowd of about 80 people, including representatives from ten angel investor groups from the Pennsylvania Angel Network.
Bob Irori, Paul Sciabica, and Marty Bradley, local entrepreneurs, judged the presentations, awarding the $10,000 grand prize to Joel Edelstein of Triglyph.
Each graduate had eight minutes to present his or her company, describing the technology, need, benefits, challenges, competition, and outlook. After every presentation was a seven-minute Q&A session.
Matt Woods was still an undergraduate student at Penn State when he began the endeavor that is X Material Processing Co. While pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, Woods entered the world of additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3-D printing, and assumed the title CEO. He believes his Direct Multi Metal (DMM)™ printing technology will revolutionize the additive manufacturing industry by not only expanding the breadth of printing possibilities but also making efficient technology more widely accessible.
Currently operating out of incubator space in the Innovation Park Technology Center, Woods, who recently graduated from the Ben Franklin’s TechCelerator@State College 10-Week Business Startup Boot Camp, is assembling a prototype capable of producing specialty parts with the ultimate goal of offering fellow manufacturers affordable multi-metal printing technology.
Read more about Woods and X Material Processing Co. in the Centre Daily Times.