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3 Decades of Naturals Research in F&F

Posted: October 30, 2007

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In 2004, Näf participated in a publication, in collaboration with Roger Corbaz of the Fructus arboretum, which investigated the composition of numerous apple varieties, including Gravensteiner and Taffetas (analyzed both intact and “smashed”). In addition, the work included reconstitutions of several apple types, including Theintz and Gravenstiner. Meanwhile, Firmenich submitted a “from the named juice” apple flavor to a client, which ultimately rejected the flavor based on the presence of gamma-decalactone. Näf and her colleagues went back and checked their work, noting the presence of gamma-decalactone in six varieties of apple, including Bovarde and Framboise. Thus, the validity of the submission was no longer in dispute.

Between 2004 and 2006, Näf took part in research into the volatile constituents of linden flower nectar as it moved from the flower to the stomachs of honeybees to the hive where it ripened into honey. Nectar from the flower was collected and analyzed by GC/MS. Collaborator Boris Bachofen caught bees returning to hives full of linden flower nectar. Using pressure, Bachofen forced the honeybees’ stomach contents back out of the mouth for collection. (The unpleasant-sounding process reportedly did not harm the bees.) The stomach contents of 25 bees were dissolved in water and extracted. The work identified a number of new terpenes.