New ‘Flavour Profiler’ improves screening of flavours in food products

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 29th November 2011

German scientists claim to have developed a new way of identifying flavours and aromas in food products.

Berlin-based research company, Metabolomic Discoveries, launched its ‘Flavour Profiler’ today – a platform that the company says allows the identification of taste and aroma components in food products.

The company claims the platform is a big step towards being able to identify the underlying chemical basis of flavours in food. It also believes the innovation will help food and beverages companies optimise their products.

Metabolomic Discoveries’ CEO, Dr Nicolas Schauer said, “To date, most flavour analysis is done through sensory profiling by experts or consumers. In contrast, the Flavour Profiler will analyse objectively all flavour components of the product. This is done through mass spectrometry based metabolite profiling and fingerprinting.

“A metabolomics based flavour analysis has the advantage that, unlike sensory profiling, it can measure all the relevant taste and aroma compounds in the product.”

Dr Schauer said the flavour analysis can be done in an early stage to support the further development of a product, but can also be used to screen products and production processes for potential changes in flavour.

According to Dr Schauer, the Flavour Profiler can benefit the optimisation of products like vegetables, dairy or wine. It also allows screening of other natural sources, such as microorganisms, fungi, plants and algae for flavour compounds.

The substances that are covered for taste are: sugars, organic acids, amino acids, sugar alcohols, sugar phosphates, umami compounds, bitter compounds, sweeteners.

For aroma the platform can determine: aldehydes, alcohols, amines, aromatics, esters, ketones, lactones, terpenes, thiols.

Metabolomic Discoveries’ Industrial Biotech expert Sandra Trenkamp added, “Flavour compounds from natural sources like fungi can be used in new formulations for food and beverages. Food processors can make their products healthier and bring novel flavour experiences to the market.”