'More Potent' Compound Discovered by Food Scientists to Mask Bitter Flavors

Something called the American Chemical Society is holding its annual expo right now at the Anaheim Convention Center, and wouldn't it have been cool to have covered it à la the Natural Products Expo? Who knows how much food news is percolating through the floor right now, but the one currently making the rounds is this: Givaudan Flavors Corporation has announced the discovery of a new compound that can block your palate from detecting bitter flavors.

The compound, GIV3616, was discovered by Givaudan senior researcher Ioana Ungureanu and co-workers after repeated experiments and after playing around with another, already-known bitterness masker: GIV3727, which this American Chemical Society publication memorably describes as “quite promiscuous” due to its abilities. Does that make GIV3616 the Carmella Bing of bitterness blockers?

Givaudan now wants to synthesize GIV3616 to help fight obesity and, sure, make some cash. “There's a strong push from the market to develop healthier products,
and reducing calories in beverages is seen as one of the main goals of
the food-and-beverage industry,” Ungureanu, told Chemical & Engineering News. “Our
goal was to introduce new flavors that would reduce bitterness and make
artificially sweetened beverages more appealing to the wider public.”

Somewhere, Diet Coke execs are smiling. . . .

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