Dr. Alan McClure, Food Science PhD
My full professional title is a little cumbersome, so I go by Dr. Alan or Alan or even just Doc, if that’s your style.
After learning about flavor at ground level in professional kitchens—and later in the cities of France I’d heard so much about—I opened Patric Chocolate in 2006 and quickly started winning awards for my high-caliber eclectic flavors.
As I focused intensely on the nuances of aroma and taste, my quest for fantastic flavor led me naturally to the molecular level. I wanted to know exactly what causes different taste sensations that in turn cause pleasure or disgust.
Figuring a better understanding of chemistry would mean better chocolate, I first started studying on my own, reading everything I could get my hands on. And when that wasn’t deep enough, I enrolled as a food science PhD student at University of Missouri.
Award-Winning Edible Creativity
Cross-lab, cross-university research in flavor chemistry & sensory science
Yes it’s a mouthful—but that seems appropriate given the subject matter. While gobbling up my course material, I was also working with renowned professors in specialized labs dedicated to both flavor chemistry and sensory science.
That’s where I started focusing on areas of particular interest to me (and to you!)—optimization of flavor and quality through controlled modification of process and ingredient parameters .
When you consume any food or beverage, the food, composed of many thousands of different molecules, acts upon tastebuds and nasal neurons to help produce a “flavor image” that can have serious emotional ramifications.
It can be the difference between an experience so positive that the consumer sings your product’s praises, and one that makes them want to duck and cover to avoid your products.
Of course, customers don’t have to understand the chemistry behind the experience to want (and deserve!) incredible-tasting products. Even you don’t even need to understand the chemistry behind the spectacular experience afforded by a new or newly optimized formulation crafted by our team.
Contact us at Patric Food & Beverage Development, and together we can perform the alchemy that will turn your initial ideas into market gold.
“…I adore this man. I love his chocolate-making skills, his palate, and his thoughtful nature and integrity. Oh, and his sense of humor. But…more than any other maker I know, [Alan is on] a quest to understand flavor and texture, and to not stop trying until he has come close to fully understanding the process.”
Sunita De TourreilChocolate Tasting Expert
The Chocolate Garage
“In a blind tasting of 14 bean-to-bar chocolates made in the US, these were [among] the most impressive…[Dr. Alan’s chocolate] melts into sliding softness. Berries and honey are at the core, but delicate violet and lavender notes set this one apart.”
Pete WellsFood Editor
The New York Times
“Whether working on new product formulations, evaluating equipment or assessing customers’ needs, Alan brings a thoughtful, logical, and analytical approach to the task at hand—often finding solutions that may not be obvious. He has a passion for food and science that drive him to continually experiment and learn. I have always been impressed by his commitment to both consistency and quality, two traits that are difficult to achieve together.”
Lauren AdlerProduct Innovator
Transparent Path SPC
Mastering the art of applied food science
I don’t give away my best tricks for nothing, but here’s something I think everyone should know about making gummies, for example.
Watch the video to avoid a common mistake in the gummy-making process. This same principle applies at scale, which as you can imagine is incredibly important for delivering quality products on time to meet demand.
Elevate your game with food science alchemy
and transform lifeless, uninteresting products into pure gold
“Chocolate is a highly appreciated food around the world which is rich in polyphenols but usually sweetened to mask inherent bitterness and astringency. Here we aim to determine how roast time and temperature in cacao roasting affect bitterness intensity and consumer liking of chocolate. We have also determined the relationship between consumer liking and perceived bitterness, astringency, sourness, sweetness, and cocoa intensity. Unroasted cacao from three different origins was roasted according to a designed experiment into a total of 27 treatments…”
Optimizing consumer acceptability of 100% chocolate through roasting treatments and effects on bitterness and other important sensory characteristicsAlan McClure, Helene Hopfer, Ingolf U Gruen
“Eight different roast profiles for each of the three origins of cacao were prepared and made into unsweetened chocolate based upon an I-Optimal response-surface design for minimizing prediction variance. Quantitative chemical analysis of all chocolate treatments was performed with HPLC-DAD on six important bitter compounds (i.e., theobromine, caffeine, epicatechin, catechin, procyanidin B2, and cyclo(Proline-Valine)). Least-squares linear modeling was then performed…”
Quantitative analysis and response surface modeling of important bitter compounds in chocolate made from cocoa beans with eight roast profiles across three originsAlan McClure, Christine Spinka, Ingolf Gruen
“Volatile acidity does not appear to be a concern for those engaging in saignee treatment of up to 15%. For certain American varieties, anthocyanin concentration does not appear to increase, but tannin extraction does appear to show a significant increase at 15% treatment…”