Danisco technology taps human flavour perceptions

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Flavour, Flavor

Danisco has developed new technology that it claims can harmonise
flavours with other food ingredients and, for the first time, human
perceptions of flavour.

According to the company, Commonsense Flavour Technology is so groundbreaking that it can even create a real-time picture of how our perceptions of flavour change when we chew and swallow.

"This is very new,"​ Danisco marketing manager Glenn Stanley told FoodNavigator."We are the first flavour house to have this equipment, and being a flavour and ingredient company, we are well placed to use it understand what consumers expect."

One of the key technologies behind the development of Commonsense Flavours is proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry - PTR-MS - which makes it possible to measure the flavour components released while natural and processed foods and beverages are being consumed.

Using these measurements, the firm says it is possible to obtain a precise picture of how consumers perceive the taste of the food they eat and the specific components behind consumer preferences - data that is then used in the development of highly targeted Commonsense Flavours.

"By seeing how consumers perceive flavours, we can adjust the flavouring to meet the need,"​ said Stanley.

Perception and recognition of a particular food is mainly based on the aroma components released during consumption. Using PTR-MS technology, Danisco measures the rise and fall of key flavour chemicals during chewing, swallowing and breathing - a complex and rapid process.

The flavour chemicals are measured in samples taken from the human nasal cavity, focusing particularly on the breath expelled during the swallowing of food, the major contributor to aroma perception. While most traditional methods of flavour analysis can only measure the flavour components released at a single point in time, PTR-MS measurements provide a complete, real-time picture.

And by identifying the critical compounds that distinguish a particular fruit or food, it becomes possible to recreate a similar effect in a finished food or beverage product.

Danisco firmly believes that the introduction of the human perspective has brought the company closer to the consumer. In addition to analysing the flavour release profile of natural products during consumption, it is possible to observe how flavours are released from all kinds of food and beverage formulations, including the influence of ingredients such as, fat, protein, carbohydrate, water and stabilisers on the overall flavour experience.

"There is lots of work to be done on this as this is a long term project,"​ said Stanley. "Consumer research is something that we will definitely take further. At the moment we are using internal staff in the tests, but I think in the future we will link more and more to consumer aspects of the industry."

A range of Commonsense Flavours is already available, and is specifically targeted at sectors such as confectionery, soft drinks and dairy. The flavours are available in natural, nature identical and heat stable formats for a wide variety of beverage and food applications.

Globally, the flavours and fragrances industry is estimated at about €14.8 billion, of which the top five players account for 40 per cent of the market.

Related topics: Science, Flavours and colours

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