EDISON, N.J. — AAK USA Inc. recently hosted a “Bakery Academy” at its Customer Innovation Center in Edison, the first of several hands-on AAK Academy learning events that the company plans to hold during 2018.

The Bakery Academy program typically consists of a series of short courses covering AAK’s capabilities, the co-development process, fats and oils solutions, consumer food product and industry applications experience, and industry dynamics affecting product development. The most recent Bakery Academy also included courses on the use of emulsifiers in fats and oils, a spotlight on cakes and icings, and the use of flaked fats in bakery products. Participants also received an overview of AAK’s primary product lines for bakery applications.

“We were pleased to host our first Bakery Academy at our Edison Customer Innovation Center,” said James Jones, Ph.D., vice-president of customer innovation at AAK USA Inc. “These academies provide an exciting opportunity for focused engagement between AAK and our valued customer 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.”

AAK said it is planning several other academies in 2018, including a September Confectionery Academy in Edison and an October Bakery Academy in Louisville, Ky.

“We also welcome our customers to request a dedicated Innovation Day with AAK,” Dr. Jones said. “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.”