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What makes Duncan Hines' new Amazing Glazes so "amazing?" Does it represent new technology? Or do the glazes represent a new application of an old technology?

First of all, the new vanilla and chocolate glaze products are amazingly simple to use and enable consumers to create a gnosh appearance on their favorite cake products or other baked goods, as well as fruit products made at home. Second, all the at-home baker needs to do is microwave the glaze products 35 seconds, and then shake, pour and spread around. And lastly, the average at-home cook can create that chef-prepared, competition-ready finished appearance with several easy steps. The glazes can be used on cakes, cup cakes, cookies, ice cream, or any other similar taste treats.

Something Old and Something New

Duncan HInes' Amazing Glazes share the above wedding phrase in that the glazes represent old technology bottled in a new application – and that counts as innovation.

I certainly don't know the glaze recipes, but I have worked with fractionated fats and oils at a previous retail packaged goods employer. And it appears that Duncan Heinz has developed a product that creates its amazing appearance as the product poured onto a cake at one temperature, and then allowed to set up at a second room temperature. This technology has been around for more than 20 years, but it takes a true R&D innovator to recognize new applications that use old technologies – and Duncan Hines deserves praise for their innovative new products. And an inside source tells me that Duncan Hines can hardly keep up with the demand.

Something Borrowed

The technology Duncan Hines borrowed (at least in principle) has also been used by Smuckers on its Magic Shell ice cream glazes, as well as other products. These products are also built around fat-based shortening products with several melting points that enable the glaze to set-up at frozen ice cream temperatures. The principle difference is that the melting points of both glazes are engineered to meet similar but different finished product applications.

Innovative Thinking

As food scientist and chefs, we often overlook the obvious, or fail to take our imagination that extra step. Ideation represents a critical step in the innovation process, but innovation must move past ideation to the product commercialization process. It's at this point that other innovation team members need to apply their innovative touch such as marketing, manufacturing and packaging etc. I take my hat off to the innovation team at Duncan Hines. Great work, and keep those innovative new products coming.

The Food Innovation Institute now offers food innovation workshops and executive leadership training on food innovation at Johnson and Wales University in Denver, CO. For more information contact, Darrel Suderman, President of The Food Innovation Institute at dsuderman@foodbevbiz.com (www.foodbevbiz.com).

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Darrel Suderman
Darrel Suderman, Ph.D., is president of Food Technical Consulting and founder of Food Innovation Institute. He has held senior R&D/QA leadership positions at KFC, Boston Market, Church's Chicken and Quiznos and led KFC’s development team of “Popcorn Chicken”, now a $1B international product –invented by Gene Gagliardi.
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