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How to discover grandma’s secret ingredient and take it national

Utah Success Stories

Think back to that special soup that Grandma made with her “secret ingredient”. You want to take that recipe and make it for grocery stores or restaurants all over the country. 

JMH Premium are the flavor folks that ensure that the soup in a grocery store, restaurant or manufacturing has that same awesome ‘just like grandmas’ taste nationwide.

How do they do it? They take all these ingredients in Grandma’s soup and concentrate them. 

I got to don my chef toque blanche and visit their research and development kitchen and was amazed at their food scientists.  

Nicole DeBloois, Director of Research & Development at JMH Premium explained to me; “You can bring us an actual sample of grandma’s recipe and our team of food scientists have excellent palates and knowledge of food science. We could actually break down what’s in grandma’s soup and figure out that secret ingredient that she didn’t tell anybody about.”

In my ‘behind the curtain’ tour it became clear that they work with lots of food brands that we all know.  I asked DeBloois why that is the case; “The reason that you would want to come here is because we can help you make your recipe consistent every time, you can keep your product quality, that same great taste, texture, aroma, every single time.”

It is amazing to think that chefs from all over the country come to Salt Lake to create flavor concentrates in less than a day. DeBloois continued; “For example, if you were a chef from the East Coast it would actually take us less time to custom develop your recipe than it would take you to get here.”

I must admit one of my favorite parts of the tour was working with Maryanne Jones, a Culinary Chef and Food Scientist at JMH Premium. Why? Because we got to play in the kitchen to test and taste.

Wonton soup anyone? Jones showed me how they were able to distill all the ingredients to create a simple to use soup base as well as a seasoning for the meat in the wonton dumplings. I was able to try my hand at making wontons. Let’s just say that Jones had a lot more experience than me and it was easy to tell the difference. 

She told me; “After we’ve developed the product for our customers, we’ll go and finish the product for them and show them some ideas that they could use that product for and make them as special dish like this one.”

It’s too bad that “smell-o-vision” hasn’t been invented. The aroma of the soup base was savory and inviting.

What’s next?

JMH’s Director of Technical Services, Shawn Delaney, oversees making sure that their products are manufactured using USDA or FDA guidelines and regulations.  He walked us through the facility to show us what we called “blending, packaging and testing of our finished products.”  

It was interesting to notice that each product starts and ends with scientific experts and their fancy equipment.

Of course, tasting is my favorite part of the process. Grandma would be proud.

With another Utah Success Story. I’m Doug Jessop

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