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Oct 20, 2008 | 01:42 PM CDT
By: Liquan Huang, associate member, Monell Chemica…
The evolution of and individual variation in bitter taste and speculation on the future directions and applications of fundamental taste research
Humans are generally thought to perceive five basic taste qualities: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami/savory. Unlike other sensory systems such as audition and vision, which detect and perceive the external physical world of sound frequencies or light wavelengths, the taste system enables humans and animals to explore the chemical nature of the environment and subserves the internal physiological needs of the organism. For example, salty, sweet and umami tastes allow humans and animals to seek out essential minerals and energy- or nutrient-rich foods, while sour and bitter tastes help the organism avoid ingesting putrefied foods, unripe fruits, potentially harmful plant alkaloids and other toxins.
This column will provide a general overview of recent progress in studies on human taste, with a focus on bitter taste. Topics covered include: the location and activation of taste receptors; the evolution of and individual variation in bitter taste; and speculation on the future directions and applications of fundamental taste research.
Oct 20, 2008 | 01:36 PM CDT
By: Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
Coffee flavor leader Flavor & Fragrance Specialties offers a look inside its labs, creative philosophy and the dynamic flavored coffee segment
“Specialty coffee is off the charts,” says Flavor & Fragrance Specialties (FFS) flavorist and lab manager Dianne Sansone. “Flavored coffee consumers are not [traditional] coffee consumers, so there is no cannibalization.” As the flavored coffee segment evolves, new profiles and technical challenges (masking off flavors from vitamins and other fortifications) proliferate.
Dunkin’ Donuts recently launched a skim version of its Coffee Coolatta beverage as part of its new campaign to provide consumers with healthy choices. Meanwhile, JavaFit has launched a new line of no-sugar functional RTD coffee beverages. Aimed at active consumers, those looking to be healthier or manage their weight, JavaFit’s offerings include Extreme Latte (fortified with green tea extract), Diet Latte (fortified with bitter orange extract Advantra Z), Focus Latte (fortified with α-GPC and multivitamins) and Immune Latte (fortified with Echinacea and multivitamins). Despite the ample fortification, the company claims its beverages have the flavor profile of “melted coffee ice cream.” Finally, Starbucks’ Cafe Mocha Truffles, noted for their indulgent qualities, were listed among the winners of Mintel’s 2008 Global New Products Database taste test. The technical hurdles and opportunities for innovation never cease.
Oct 20, 2008 | 01:31 PM CDT
By: Aaron Graham, Griffith Laboratories USA
The benefits of strategies such as multi-platform flavors, country of origin material sourcing and process optimization
Escalating energy and material costs are a major challenge facing flavor manufacturers, and one that is forcing the industry to find new methods to adjust. The last few years have seen record cost increases in a large number of ingredients commonly used in the flavor industry, particularly those derived from corn, soy and wheat, and petroleum-based products. (See F-1.) As the global demand for energy grows, spurred by China and India, the food versus energy decision is likely to maintain these elevated prices.
Oct 20, 2008 | 01:18 PM CDT
By: Dave Baines, Baines Food Consultancy Ltd., and…
Flavorists face rising food prices, legislation and competition as the demand for savory flavors explodes
Savory flavorings is a growth market that is predicted to increase significantly over the next five years in line with the rapid growth of the consumption of meat products. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that global consumption of meat is estimated to grow from 250 million tonnes per annum to 300 million tonnes by 2020, and to more than 450 million tonnes by 2050. The graph in F-1 shows that most of this growth is in developing countries, with meat consumption in developed countries leveling off. The supply of ingredients to support this market will grow in tandem with meat consumption and will have a major impact on savory flavors.
Oct 20, 2008 | 01:01 PM CDT
By: Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
Investigating novel varieties of citrus and determining consumer preferences among orange beverages and vanilla ice creams
“What’s next?” This is the question every flavor house needs to pose and resolve in order to remain competitive. Recently, as part of its CitrusTrek* program, Givaudan flavorists explored the citrus collection of the University of California–Riverside, which contains more than 1,000 citrus tree varieties. The exposure to novel flavor characteristics is expected to spur the creation of new citrus flavors. In addition, the company’s TasteEssentials** program has provided analysis of the 81 of the world’s top still and sparkling orange drinks, offering a view into global trends in citrus flavors. Simultaneously, Givaudan surveyed more than 9,000 consumers in 20 countries regarding taste preferences and other data. Of the results, Dawn Streich, the company’s citrus product manager, says, “Our research shows consumers are increasingly looking for refreshing, sophisticated citrus flavored beverages.”
Oct 20, 2008 | 12:52 PM CDT
By: Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
Strategies for developing new and authentic profiles for a growing array of applications
“Tea is the new coffee, but better,” says IFF flavorist Marie Wright. Working with R&D, a flavorist team, and Ed Nappen, technical category director for beverages, Wright has endeavored over the last year to create tea flavors that impart authenticity and bring a greater variety of profiles to the public. Working from “gold standards” drawn from Asian tea plantations, the team has developed a range of tea flavors including white peony, longjing, gyokuro green, oolong Tie Guan Yin, Darjeeling, jasmine green and chrysanthemum. The goal, as Wright puts it, is to capture each variety’s unique character to add differentiation to applications: “the hearty toasted molasses notes of Darjeeling, the delicate apricot and brown spice character of Nantou Oolong and the fresh-cut grass aroma of Long Jing.”
Sep 30, 2008 | 03:05 PM CDT
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed two bills into law that will give state regulators broad authority to identify, evaluate and, if necessary, ban potentially harmful industrial chemicals.
Sep 23, 2008 | 10:36 AM CDT
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published a Q&A document which is intended for those companies who own notifications under Directive 67/548/EEC pertaining to Domestic Manufacturers and/or Importers.
Sep 23, 2008 | 09:37 AM CDT
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio has introduced legislation, H.R. 3422, to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to provide for the establishment of a traceability system for food for all stages of manufacturing, processing, packaging and distribution.
Sep 23, 2008 | 09:28 AM CDT
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has introduced legislation, S. 3502, the Children's Environmental Health and Safety Risk Reduction Act, to provide for the establishment of a task force to address the environmental health and safety risks posed to children.