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Symrise has reported the potential use of benzyl amides as bitter-masking compounds for foods. The results are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The researchers from Symrise’s flavor and nutrition research and innovation group looked into potential bitter-masking compounds by focusing on compounds that are structurally similar (analogues) to homoeriodictyol, the main bitter-masking flavanone in the Californian evergreen shrub Eriodictyon californicum. The researchers synthesized 13 different analogues and then had an expert tasting panel screen them in a mix with caffeine. The most promising of the analogues, 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid N-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenxyl)amide reduced the quinine and salicin bitterness by about 20%. The researchers concluded that further research into this area could lead to less expensive alternatives to the expensive flavanones used today to mask bitterness in foods.