Cargill receives patent for breakthrough taste modification ID technology

Cargill has received a patent for a breakthrough technology in
taste tissue imaging and taste modification that is superior to the
cell screening technology currently available in the flavor, food and
beverage industries. The patented technology will allow Cargill to
effectively discover taste modifiers – such as sweetness enhancers,
bitterness blockers, savory enhancers and salt enhancers – and develop
flavors that make food and beverage products taste better.
For example, Cargill’s technology can help identify natural
molecules and flavor ingredients that can enhance the sweet taste of
reduced-calorie foods and beverages or block bitter notes from others,
such as processed foods. The system can provide an unparalleled depth
of data for identifying potential taste enhancers, blockers and
The new imaging technology allows Cargill scientists to actually
see and measure the cellular response of taste cells to taste
stimulants. This means they can simultaneously observe the cellular
responses and interactions of all of the taste modalities – sweet,
bitter, salty, sour and umami.
Cargill applies the new technology to customers mainly through its
flavor systems business. “Cargill already had a wealth of knowledge
and scientific resources in the flavor arena,” said Thomas Niederkorn,
Americas beverage category director, Cargill Flavor Systems. “This new
technology will allow us to expand our offerings into the ‘next
generation’ of taste innovation.”
According to Chris Mallett, Cargill corporate vice president of
research and development, Cargill’s technology is revolutionary and
differentiated in that it allows the company’s scientists to observe
the interactions of all five taste modalities at the same time.
“As a result, this technology allows us to predict taste sensation
and so help our customers deliver better-tasting consumer products to
the marketplace,” said Mallett.
Cargill developed the technology in partnership with the Monell
Chemical Senses Center, a Philadelphia-based non-profit independent
scientific institute dedicated to research on taste and smell.
The technology will be discussed at a session of the International
Symposium on Olfaction and Taste on July 25 in San Francisco.
Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and
risk management products and services. With 158,000 employees in 66
countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and
experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed. For
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