Solae seeks to block bitter taste
April 26, 2007Solae seeks to block bitter taste
By Gail Appleson
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Some consumers turn up their noses at soy milk and other soy products because
they find the taste too beany and bitter. So St. Louis-based Solae LLC said
Wednesday that it has joined with biotechnology company Senomyx Inc. to find a
way to block undesirable flavor without masking it with salt, fat or sugar.
San Diego-based Senomyx, whose clients include Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola and
Kraft Foods, uses proprietary taste technologies and chemistry to develop novel
flavors, enhancers and taste modulators. Its current programs focus on the
development of flavor ingredients in the savory, sweet, salt and bitter areas.
Solae, a global leader in soy protein research, was formed in 2003 through an
alliance between Bunge Ltd. and DuPont.
The collaboration between the companies aims to develop new "bitter blockers"
to reduce the bitter taste associated with certain soy-based products. The
blockers would be in the form of a flavor that would interact with the
receptors in the mouth.
"Senomyx takes the approach of looking at the physiology system in the mouth,"
said Jonathan McIntyre, vice president of research development at Solae. "It's
more cutting-edge science."
If the companies can come up with bitter blockers, it would allow manufacturers
to add more soy protein to products, thus improving their nutritional value.
They also could then cut back on using salt, sugar and fat to cover the taste.
McIntyre said he would expect the first applications to be used in beverages
and energy bars.
Under the collaborative agreement, Solae will have exclusive use of the flavor
ingredients in virtually all categories of foods and beverages that contain
added soy protein. It will fund the discovery and development of these flavor
systems, and Senomyx will be entitled to certain milestone and royalty