Technology (UPN: 30)

Technology Natural additive as bitter taste inhibitor
Organisation Type University
Organisation Region North America
Overview The Innovator has discovered the ability of a specific natural ingredient, a glycosylated flavonoid, to be used as a bitter blocker in food and beverages having a bitter taste. The bitter blocker appears to block bitter/astringent sites in mouth, and can also be used as a sweetener at high level.

Successful tests have shown the ability of the proposed ingredient technology to mask the bitter taste in the following examples:

  • Masking of bitter flavor from potassium and other salts in foods. It masks bitterness in liquids like Gatorade and emulsions like soy milk. For example, up to 2% of potassium in Gatorade can be added vs. normal Gatorade is much lower. Equivalent improvements are seen in soy milk without added sugar.
  • Masking of biting flavor from glycerin in foods.
  • Masking of bitter flavors and off-flavors in foods, medical foods, vegetables, other foods, and pharmaceutical compositions˗Masking of bitter flavors and off-flavors in liver and other organ meats.

The ingredient can be used in other foods having a bitter or off-flavor, e.g. raw berries, purees, powders, flavorings, juices, ice cream (with or without glycerin), fruit fillings, smoothies, yogurts, vegetables, teas, coffee, beer, salad dressing, marinades, candies, wines, liquors, and other alcoholic beverages.

In many applications (whether foods, beverages, or pharmaceutical compositions), a preferred range for the ingredient is 200 - 1000 ppm, more preferably 300 - 800 ppm. Optimal ranges for use in a particular application may readily be determined through routine testing.

The bitter blocker is water soluble at levels of use. It has been used in beverages as well as in meat products.

As, the ingredient is water soluble so there would be no typical “release” in the GI tract. It is a glycoside but at 250 ppm does not add calories. The flavonoid core is poorly absorbed.

Key features of the proposed technology are the following:

  • Natural, edible plant-based, GRAS status ingredient;
  • Water soluble, can be used in liquids and emulsions;
  • Can withstand the pasteurization process;
  • Can work from pH 3 to neutral pH.

Opportunities: This natural ingredient can be used as a flavor modifier in various foods, beverages, pharmaceutical compositions, and the like to block the perception of bitter and astringent flavors or other off flavors.

Possible Applications:

Masking the bitter taste of calcium and potassium, Mask bitter and astringent taste in protein hydrolyzate of free amino acid products, Improve quality of high tannin wine.

Competitive Advantage

A natural, food grade ingredient. It is water soluble, resistant to pasteurization and can work within a broad range of pH. It can also be used as a sweetener at high level. It can be commercialized immediately.

Development Stage:

In user / Testing result available

Proof-of-concept or Laboratory prototype

Working prototype or Sample ready for testing

Intellectual Property:

Worldwide patent protection.

Innovator The research group of interest is part of the University’s Department of Food Science.