Many products in the food, beverage, luxury food, sweetener, animal food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics markets stand out as having a bitter aftertaste, which can be the result of specific ingredients in the various products.
In the current research and development partnership between BRAIN AG and BASF SE, biologically active and taste-based solutions were identified using a reputable screening programme and various compound libraries, based on BRAIN’s highly complex cellular assay system.
Molecular background understood
The azo dyes and fatty acid esters identified in the vast screening programme act as bitter taste modulators by attaching themselves to bitter receptors which are exposed on the surface of the taste cells and are responsible for the transfer of the undesired aftertaste. The comprehensive characterisation of these substances, along with the development and application for a utility patent, was the basis for product optimisation and innovation and an industrial use in various target industries was created.
BRAIN’s patent platform strengthened
“With the acquisition of the anti-bitter patent and utility patent portfolio for the innovative bitter modulators, we are expanding our patent platform of biologically active product components for efficient food optimisation. This includes an approved additive group of azo dyes, such as E110 and E129, as well as fatty acid esters in various commercially available and inventive formulations,” says Dr. Holger Zinke, CEO of BRAIN AG. “In numerous discussions with partners we have recognised that there is increasing demand for bioactive compounds that will improve and enhance taste and health aspects of food.”
Validation of active substances on human taste cells
“Through our ScreenLine® technology programme and access to our CompActives® biological compound library, we can also identify different taste areas and the substances that can be used accordingly in the nutrition field,” adds Dr. Michael Krohn, Member of Executive Committee and Unit Head BioActives and Performance Biologics at BRAIN. “In the meantime, the two azo dyes were validated using our patented human bitter taste cells. Currently we are broadly marketing the molecules and the respective ScreenLine®-technologies.”