Thursday, April 07, 2005

Flavor enhancers

The New York Times had an interesting article about a biotechnology company called Senomyx and their work on flavor enhancers. Senomyx has studied the five flavor receptors and used that knowledge to search for compounds that activate or suppress the flavor receptors. The Senomyx technology pages provide a nice overview of their strategy. The NYT article reports several food and beverage companies have licensed rights to use Senomyx products in certain types of products. I’m sure there’s a lot of regulatory work ahead to prove the additives are safe. It would be nice to have a safe, salt receptor agonist so companies could reduce the amount of salt in their products (e.g. canned soups or V8) and yet maintain the flavor.

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