The patent covers the composition of Senomyx’s S2383 sucralose enhancer and its analogs, which are intended to enhance the taste of sucralose in products such as baked goods, cereals, desserts, dairy products, and confectionery. Switzerland-based flavor firm Firmenich has exclusive rights to market S2383 globally for all food and beverage categories, either as a stand-alone ingredient or as part of a flavor system.
By reducing manufacturers’ usage of sucralose, the enhancer would allow food and drink makers to decrease costs and improve taste, Senomyx said.
The company’s CEO Kent Snyder said the patent for the new flavor ingredient is a valuable asset to Senomyx.
He said: "Firmenich has initiated sales of commercial quantities of S2383 and is currently engaged in marketing activities with additional major clients. The feedback from potential customers regarding the taste profile and other characteristics has been very favorable, and we're looking forward to the introduction of a variety of products containing S2383."
According to market research organization Leatherhead International, sucralose accounted for 17 percent of the global intense sweeteners market in value terms from 2007 to 2009, with estimated sales of $250m in 2009. It accounts for a leading 47 percent of the North American intense sweeteners market, including tabletop sweeteners, and half of all sucralose used in the United States is destined for reduced-calorie soft drinks, according to the market researcher.
Senomyx’s senior vice president and chief scientific officer Don Karanewsky said: "We are very pleased with the issuance of this key US patent for one of our sweetness enhancers, and we believe it speaks to Senomyx's leadership in the identification and development of products that can substantially reduce the use of added sweeteners in a broad range of food and beverage applications."
One approach that Senomyx uses for developing sweetness enhancers involves identifying sweet taste receptors in the mouth and increasing their efficiency, thereby giving the impression of greater sweetness without increasing sweetener quantity. This in turn allows manufacturers to cut the amount of sweetener in their products.