German research house touts novel flavour analysis method

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

A new way of analysing flavours in food and beverages goes beyond sensory profiling and can both ensure brand quality and innovation, claims German developer Metabolomic Discoveries.

Nicolas Schauer, CEO of the Potsdam-based research and analytics company, said its Flavour Profiler allows for the identification of all relevant taste and aroma components in products and natural sources.

“The platform has been tried and tested with a food manufacturer customer over the past few years and we are now confident it can be used on an industry-wide basis,”​ he told FoodNavigator.com en route to FIE in Paris for the food trade show.

Objective results

Schauer explained that the company's flavour platform screens products and production processes, relying on a non-targeted approach to flavour analysis for objective results, unlike existing industry techniques that are, in the main, informed by sensory profiling by experts or consumers.

Instead, he said, the Metabolomic Discoveries flavour analysis system uses mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling and fingerprinting to discover the underlying chemical basis of "hundreds, if no,t thousands of aroma and taste components as well as novel flavours to help the food and drink sector with quality control and NPD."

Production parameters

The flavour analysis, continued Schauer, can be done in an early stage to support the further development of a product, but it can also examine the manufacturing processes for potential changes in flavour.

"If you take a product like tomato sauce, brand owners want to ensure the quality of the raw materials used and the Profiler can do this but, in addition, will screen all production parameters to see what happens at every step of the manufacturing process to the various flavour components.

In this way, our system can identify the causes of off-flavours and, thus, we are able to help food and drink manufacturers assure continuous quality of their products,”​ added​Schauer

Brand owners, said the CEO, can send food and beverage product or raw material samples to Metabolomic Discoveries or its experts can carry out sampling at individual processing facilities.

Novel flavours

He said the system also allows screening of other natural sources, such as microorganisms, fungi, plants and algae for flavour compounds, with such novel flavours useful for developing new food and beverage formulations, notes Schauer.

In terms of taste, reports the German company, the platform looks at sugars, organic acids, amino acids, sugar alcohols, sugar phosphates, umami and bitter compounds, and sweeteners, while, for aroma, it can determine aldehydes, alcohols, amines, aromatics, esters, ketones, lactones, terpenes and thiols.

Related topics: Science, Flavours and colours

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