Reb-A bitter taste receptor identified

Monday, 16 February, 2009

Givaudan has identified and applied for patents related to its discovery of the bitter taste receptor triggered by Rebaudioside-A (also known as Reb-A), the Stevia-derived ‘natural high-intensity sweetener’ recently pronounced safe by the US FDA. Understanding how bitterness is activated in the mouth with Reb-A has enabled Givaudan to discover and develop flavour ingredients that specifically block this mechanism.

Food and beverage company product developers normally encounter significant taste problems with Reb-A’s lingering and off-notes. Effectively masking these, along with flavour profile enhancement, is key to successful consumer product development of sweetened foods and beverages that contain Reb-A.

Givaudan has utilised advances in taste research, sensory science and receptor-guided ingredient discovery to address the bitterness associated with Reb A. Screening of a diverse chemical library has led to a portfolio of more than 20 new, best-in-class flavour ingredients effective against Reb A bitterness. Over the last two years, Givaudan obtained regulatory approval for six new natural ingredients for intense sweetener taste improvement.

In addition to basic ingredient research, Givaudan has developed an in-depth sensory understanding of bitterness blocking requirements for a range of high-intensity sweeteners through an expert tasting panel of people sensitive to Reb-A off-notes.

The company has already realised a number of commercial successes with customers for natural masking ingredients, including Reb-A, and has achieved double-digit volume growth across its sweetener enhancement and bitterness masking portfolio.

Givaudan customers have made successful market launches of carbonated soft drinks, iced teas, flavoured waters, juice drinks and sports and functional beverages using this new technology.

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