Firmenich to enhance flavour development process

6 Nov 2015

Firmenich is to invest half a million Swiss Francs to further develop its AFFIRM technology to enhance its flavour design process in order to create more consumer preference for its strategic partners.

Firmenich to enhance flavour development process

Firmenich is to invest half a million Swiss Francs to further develop its AFFIRM technology to enhance its flavour design process in order to create more consumer preference for its strategic partners. “Understanding the interactions between flavour and food as it’s consumed is critical for the food and beverage industry to offer consumers the products they love”, said Chris Millington, President, Flavours. “Building on our focus to shape winning solutions for our customers, we developed our AFFIRM technology to deepen our understanding of these interactions. Thanks to these proprietary tools, our flavour design process triggers greater consumer preference.” With this investment, Firmenich says it will be able to understand more complex flavour systems by measuring more volatiles in real time, with higher precision, greater sensitivity and better discrimination than ever before. Improved accuracy will also allow Firmenich to create consumer preferred flavours faster and more cost-efficiently, the company said, noting that, with this knowledge, it will be able to move from analysing the performance of the flavours to predicting the performance of the flavours. Firmenich began by developing its (MS-NOSE), in collaboration with the University of Nottingham several years ago. After a series of continuous improvements, the company has now invested in the next generation of AFFIRM to maintain its leadership in this field for the benefit of product development and flavour creation, it says. AFFIRM stands for Analysis of Flavor and Fragrances in Real tiMe. It is, according to Firmenuch, the ultimate instrument that objectively measures the release kinetics of aroma molecules during food consumption or preparation, allowing for the quantification (at low ppt level) of flavour molecules released from a food matrix as it is consumed. By capturing this data, Firmenich says it can understand which elements of a flavour are most impactful, leading to more effective and efficient flavour creation for its clients.

AFFIRM can be used in conjunction with an artificial mouth, also developed within Firmenich, maximising the impact of both technologies and allowing the company to quickly analyse the performance of flavours in their applications. The Firmenich artificial mouth is described as a state-of-the-art device developed to mimic mastication, reducing the need for multiple human panelists to have to chew food. This is the first time ever that such an artificial mouth has been connected to AFFIRM, the company points out, allowing Firmenich to rapidly test products for its clients.

“This way we produce more consistent results,” said Dr Shane Avison, Senior Scientist, Global Innovation, “which is especially attractive for time consuming studies such as long-lasting chewing gum.” “The technology is marvellously robust and has given us ample understanding of how different flavour molecules are released from food, which allows us to develop the most highly-advanced flavours for our clients,” said Dr Igor Bodnár, Senior Project Manager, Global Innovation. “We are now working on extending the methodology to more complex foods such as protein. This will give us a huge advantage when it comes to creating the most authentic flavours for savoury, as well as dairy-based products.”

“The AFFIRM and artificial mouth are great proprietary technologies that help us understand why and when our products are best performing across a wide range of food and beverage applications. It is also a great asset to guide our innovation in key areas like flavor delivery systems,” said Dr Jérôme Barra, Vice President Global Innovation. “This way, we ensure we are doing the right things to continue serving our customers and their consumers.”