Givaudan invests in sweetness modulation technology

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

The ‘sweet curve’ has helped to understand the challenges sugar reduction.
The ‘sweet curve’ has helped to understand the challenges sugar reduction.

Related tags: Flavor, Sugar

Givaudan says it is increasing investment in taste technology to address food manufacturers’ ‘sweetness challenges'.

The Swiss flavour and fragrance giants said it will expand its TasteSolution health and wellness programme by increasing investment and resources in response to increased consumer demand for food and beverage products which are perceived as healthier but do not compromise on taste.

Minerva Calatayud, global product manager for sweet goods and dairy explained that achieving desirable levels of sweetness “is not simply about replacing or reducing sugar.”

Esther van Ommeren, senior flavourist for global flavour creation technology at Givaudan, explained that current technologies attempt to solve the problem of replacing sugar by tackling individual aspects of the challenge, “but never seemed to satisfy consumer expectation.”

van Ommeren told FoodNavigator that newly developed understanding of the ‘sweet curve’ has helped to break the challenge into several aspects, “like enhancing sweetness, but also masking off-notes (like the metallic, lingering sweetness of artificial or high intensity sweeteners).”

Sweet demand

“There is already a trend towards reduced-sugar products and the substantial rise in sugar prices over the last year is accelerating reformulation by manufacturers,” ​said Mike Size, Global Head of Beverages at Givaudan.

However consumers desire sweetness profiles similar to sugar, even in low- and zero-calorie products – as they often prefer the taste of sugar to high intensity sweeteners.

Givaudan said it is continuing to grow its programme by developing new natural ingredients from botanical sources and biotechnology. It also confirmed that it has a pipeline of artificial molecules for a new sweetness modifier, which will help to create sweetness and mouthfeel solutions for sugar reduction.

Enhanced perception

Givaudan said that by enhancing sweetness characteristics while masking undesirable notes and improving the flavour, the sweetness modulation technology has helped to provide sensorially-balanced profiles for both naturally and artificially sweetened low- and zero-calorie products.

van Ommeren said that a critical part in the context of sugar replacement “is that the functionality is always strongly related to final product.”

“The challenge in this journey was to address all these aspects in a comprehensive way by leveraging expertise from science & technology, flavour creation and application science.,”​ said van Ommeren.

For example, research presented by Givaudan​ at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting & Exposition, reported the discovery of a bitter blocking compound, known as GIV3616, which may help to block metallic and ‘off-flavour’ tastes sometimes reported to occur during consumption of artificial sweeteners.

“This compound ​[GIV3616] was found to reduce bitterness elicited by various sweeteners as well as a wide variety of off-notes, leading to large array of application opportunities,”​ explained the researchers at the ACS meeting & expo.

Unique situation

“Givaudan is in a unique situation as we have high-throughput-screening capabilities for the sweet receptor available in house. We also have ongoing expertise in identifying active test ingredients in food stuff … Now we have found a way to combine both approaches, which has led to the development of new ingredients,”​ said van Ommeren.

She explained that by combining individual science platforms, flavourists have been able “to create solutions that address the main challenges of sugar reduction, like sweet perception, mouthfeel, and no undesired aftertastes.”

Related topics: R&D

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