Senomyx, a San Diego based biotech company dedicated to developing innovative flavor ingredients for the food, beverage, and ingredient supply industry, has announced that it has identified fructose enhancing ingredients that could significantly “amplify” the inherently sweet taste of fructose (and, by extension, high fructose corn syrup or HFCS). According to Senomyx Vice President of Investor Relations Gwen Rosenberg, who made the announcement at Chicago’s Midwest IDEAS conference last week, the company is already in talks with Firmenich and PepsiCo over the enhancers’ potential applications.
This isn’t Senomyx’s first discovery involving sugar enhancers. The company is also making improvements to its established sucrose enhancers (S6973 and S9632) as well as a sucralose enhancer (S2383). “Nobody else we know of has a sucrose enhancer [S6973] that does not have any taste on its own, it just boosts the taste of the sugar that is there,” said Rosenberg at the conference. “But we are also very excited about S9632, which appears to be very effective for a broad range of beverages, where S6973 is primarily used for foods.”
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PepsiCo has reportedly offered to pay $30 million up front, plus another $32 million for research and development and future royalty payments, for exclusive access to the fructose enhancers and the competitive edge they could give to the soft drink company. More of those types of offers will likely pour in even faster once Senomyx unlocks the secret to salt enhancers – an additive that could help the food industry reduce sodium while maintaining taste.
“I’d like to say it’s a case of when, rather than if, we find a salt enhancer,” said Rosenberg. “This is a very high priority for us but the most challenging from a scientific aspect.”