Senomyx developing sweetener enhancers

by Jeff Gelski
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Senomyx, Inc., San Diego, has begun development activities for a new sucrose enhancer, S6973, the company reported July 29. Taste tests have demonstrated that S6973 may reduce up to 50% of the sucrose in product prototypes while maintaining the sweet taste of natural sugar. The new sucrose enhancer does not have a sweet taste. Instead, it is intended to amplify the sweet taste of the sugar in a food or beverage.

"Taste tests conducted by Senomyx have shown that S6973 enhanced the sweet taste of yogurt, cereal, and cookie prototypes, as well as powdered and other beverages," said John Poyhonen, senior vice-president, chief financial and business officer for Senomyx. "Senomyx is also planning to incorporate S6973 in additional product prototypes for evaluation by potential future collaborators. These prototypes are representative of product categories that utilize sucrose such as ice cream and other dairy products, sauces and toppings, and baked goods."

The development phase includes scale-up activities and safety studies to support regulatory filings for S6973 in the United States and elsewhere.

Senomyx also is completing development activities with S2383, an enhancer of the high-intensity sweetener sucralose. This enhancer enabled up to a 75% reduction of sucralose in product prototypes and maintained the same sweet intensity without any off-tastes. Senomyx anticipates receiving Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for S2383 in the United States by the end of this year.

"Reducing sugar consumption is a priority for consumers who have dietary concerns, particularly those related to obesity and diabetes," said Dr. Mark Zoller, Ph.D., Senomyx’s chief scientific officer and executive vice-president of discovery and development. "The new sucrose and sucralose enhancers were discovered utilizing Senomyx’s patented taste-receptor technology, which we are now using to focus on the discovery of enhancers of fructose, another carbohydrate sweetener used in a wide range of consumer products."

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