Now A.I. might decide how your food tastes

Seasoning company McCormick is set to use artificial intelligence to create new flavors

Seasoning company McCormick has decided to spice up consumers' lives — using artificial intelligence (AI).

The business, which makes condiments from French's Classic Yellow Mustard to McCormick herbs and spices, is working with IBM on an initiative that will analyze its data on taste that has been collected over more than 40 years. The data includes past product formulas as well as millions of pieces of information on consumers' palates, according to a press release emailed to CNBC Monday.

The companies are developing a platform called "ONE" that will help create new flavor combinations using AI.

Different tastes produced so far include Tuscan chicken, bourbon pork tenderloin and New Orleans sausage, which should be in U.S. stores by late spring, McCormick said.

The platform uses multiple machine learning algorithms that are trained using the data points and then human product developers will use the information to create new ingredients.

"By combining McCormick's deep data and expertise in science and taste, with IBM's AI capabilities, we are working together to unlock the bounds of creativity and transform the food and flavor development process," said Kathryn Guarini, VP of industry research at IBM.

This isn't the first time AI has been used to produce new flavors: In September, a group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used a computer to process hundreds of artisan pizza recipes to create food combinations from what it learned, as part of a project called "How to Generate (Almost) Anything," aiming to show how humans and machines can work together.

Flavor forecast

Last week McCormick released its annual flavor forecast, which suggested that basil seeds might be the new chia seeds — sometimes called a "super food." It also predicted that a Japanese sesame blend called gomasio could become the hot new way to enhance pasta or roasted vegetables.

In January, McCormick reported annual sales of $5.41 billion for the 12 months to the end of November 2018.