Cargill innovates in good taste

by Jeff Gelski
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Cargill, Minneapolis, has received a patent for a technology that may be used to discover taste modifiers, and the company also developed a flavor technology designed to ensure shelf life in products such as powdered drinks and gelatins.

Potential taste modifiers include sweetness enhancers, bitterness blockers, savory enhancers and salt enhancers. According to Cargill, its technology in taste tissue imaging and taste modification is superior to cell screening technology.

Cargill scientists will be able to see and measure the cellular response of taste cells to taste stimulants. Chris Mallett, corporate vice-president of research and development, said Cargill scientists simultaneously may observe the interactions of all five taste modalities: sweet, bitter, salty, sour and umami.

Cargill developed the technology in partnership with the Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, a non-profit scientific institute.

"This new technology will allow us to expand our offerings into the ‘next generation’ of taste innovation," said Thomas Niederkorn, Americas beverage category director for Cargill.

The new flavor technology, meanwhile, is called Freshzone. A thermodynamically stable encapsulation, Freshzone technology holds volatile flavor components at the molecular level. The patent-pending technology allows food and beverage manufacturers to work with nonflammable dried powders as an alternative to liquids.

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