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The Frontier of Receptor Research

Contact Author By: Stephen Gravina; reported by Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
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This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine. The full content is not currently available online.

Read more presentations and find photos of the event here.

Innovations in taste receptor research promise advances in both ingredient development and health and wellness solutions for flavor houses and food and beverage manufacturers. During his presentation at the 2009 Flavor Symposium, Stephen Gravina (senior research fellow, IFF) provided an overview of the latest science and research possibilities.

Gravina displayed an overview of human taste anatomy, including foliate, fungiform, filiform and circumvallate papillae, and explained the biology of taste perception. The presentation also touched on trigeminal nerves, which are responsible for warming, cooling, pain and touch/position sensations in the mouth. In addition, Gravina discussed sweet, umami and bitter receptors, and the more controversial mechanisms of salt receptors. “One of the primary goals of taste receptor research is to lower the amounts of sugar, MSG and salt in the human diet without compromising taste,” said Gravina. “This has been mandated by our customers and the consumer.”

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