[Food & Beverages domain]

Artificial Intelligence System Now Calculates Beer Recipes for Kirin

  • Research and Technology

August 31, 2021

Kirin Brewery Company, Limited

・The Brewing Takumi AI system can now generate recipes for brewers based on desired results
・Recipes generated by decades of beer brewing know-how accumulated in the system’s database
・Brewing Takumi AI eases the burden of product development on brewers, allowing for faster product development and passing on technical skills.

TOKYO, Tuesday August 31st, 2021 – Kirin Holdings Company, Limited (Kirin Holdings) has added a new Recipe Inference function to its Brewing Takumi AI machine-learning beer development support system. The added function will make it possible to generate new recipes based on desired taste utilizing decades of brewing knowledge in data form. Brewing Takumi AI eases the burden of product development on brewers, allowing for faster product development and passing on technical skills.

Brewing Takumi AI – named after a Japanese word for “master craftsman” – was jointly developed with Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI) and trials commenced at Kirin Holdings in June. Going forward, this system will be used to advance and streamline the product development cycle, generating recipes products based on novel concepts and accelerating the transfer of expert knowledge to the next generation of brewers.

Brewing Takumi AI Predicts Recipe Results in Advance

Conventionally, new beer products are created through a trial and error process in which brewers use their knowledge and experience to adjust the ingredient ratios and brewing conditions. The recipes and tacit expert knowledge developed by Kirin Holdings have been converted into explicit data; but the use of this data varied depending on the individual brewer.

Given this, Kirin Holdings Institute for Future Beverages partnered with MRI to jointly develop* the Brewing Takumi AI with a Test Results Prediction function in 2017. The Test Results Prediction function incorporates machine learning from past test brew data and brewer know-how, and it uses it to predict the results of the test brew based on the ingredient combination and brewing conditions of the recipe. This function enabled brewers to predict in advance the results of the test brew from the premade recipe, increasing the efficiency of product development.
*News release issued August 21, 2017 “Starting development of an algorithm for a Brewing Takumi AI that supports the development of beer products” (Japanese) https://www.mri.co.jp/news/press/20170821.html

However, the creation of the recipes themselves needed to achieve the desired taste and other characteristics still relied on the experience and creativity of the individual brewer, so recipes continued to vary among individual brewers. A new function was needed.

  • Test Results Prediction function and Recipe Inference function of the Brewing Takumi AI

Enter the Recipe Inference function: Calculating Backwards to Generate Recipes

In order to solve this issue of variations among final recipes, Kirin Holdings worked with MRI to develop a Recipe Inference function capable of calculating backwards from the targeted taste to generate ingredient combinations and brewing conditions which form the recipe.

The Recipe Inference function, added to the Brewing Takumi AI uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide these potential recipes based on the input numerical indicators for the desired taste. This function enables even inexperienced brewers to achieve the same results as experienced brewers when identifying all of the potential recipes for the targeted taste. In addition, the wide range of recipes provided by this function makes it possible to discover unique recipes based on novel concepts taken from unexpected results that would be difficult for even experienced brewers to create.

Starting from the first Kirin Beer lager in 1888 to the current craft beers, Kirin Holdings has accumulated over a century of recipe development experience. This knowledge combined with MRI’s AI development capability was leveraged in the development of the Recipe Inference function. At the same time, good-tasting beer has well-balanced taste and fragrance that cannot be indicated solely by numbers, so recipe development ultimately needs to be performed by a human brewer. However, combining AI with the five senses will make it possible to efficiently create completely novel beers that fit consumer tastes.

  • Calculating with Brewing Takumi AI

  • Tasting the AI-generated results

Results and Future Outlook

The completion of the Test Results Prediction function and Recipe Inference function in Brewing Takumi AI will dramatically increase the efficiency of R&D operations and allow brewers to spend more time creating value that can only be created by humans through the five senses, as well as further advance the work-style reforms being implemented by Kirin Holdings. Also, through the beer brewing know-how of experienced brewers contained in Brewing Takumi AI, the expert skills of these brewers will be passed down efficiently to the next generation.
Going forward, efforts will be made to further streamline product development and create new value through the accumulation of data in Brewing Takumi AI.

About Kirin Holdings

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited is an international company that operates in the Food & Beverages domain (Food & Beverages businesses), Pharmaceuticals domain (Pharmaceuticals businesses), and Health Science domain (Health Science business), both in Japan and across the globe.

Kirin Holdings can trace its roots to Japan Brewery which was established in 1885. Japan Brewery became Kirin Brewery in 1907. Since then, the company expanded its business with fermentation and biotechnology as its core technologies, and entered the pharmaceutical business in the 1980s, all of which continue to be global growth centers. In 2007, Kirin Holdings was established as a pure holding company and is currently focusing on boosting its Health Science domain.

Under the Kirin Group Vision 2027 (KV 2027), a long-term management plan launched in 2019, the Kirin Group aims to become “A global leader in CSV, creating value across our world of Food & Beverages to Pharmaceuticals.” Going forward, the Kirin Group will continue to leverage its strengths to create both social and economic value through its businesses, with the aim of achieving sustainable growth in corporate value.

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