The ingredient, dubbed S9632, complements Senomyx’s other sucrose enhancer S6973, which flavors giant Firmenich has now started to supply to customers, said chief executive Kent Snyder.
“Taste tests have demonstrated S9632 can enable reduction of up to 50% of the sugar in product prototypes without compromising taste. The development phase includes safety studies and other activities intended to support regulatory filings in the US and elsewhere.
“S9632 also possesses advantageous physical properties that are beneficial for a broad range of beverages and foods, and its expected utilization should be very complementary to S6973."
Firmenich was also supplying Senomyx’s S2383 to several customers, which could enable them to reduce sucralose by up to 75% without any loss of sweetness, revealed Snyder. Nestlé, meanwhile, had incorporated Senomyx's savory flavors, used to replace monosodium glutamate, into a range of new products during the quarter, he said.
R&D: Natural sweeteners, salt enhancers and cooling agents
On the R&D front, work on developing natural plant-derived high-potency sweeteners, salt enhancers and substances claimed to cool the mouth “much more effectively” than menthol, WS-3, and other cooling agents, was also progressing well, he added.
Building on work by scientists who have successfully cloned human taste receptors for sweet, bitter and umami tastes, Senomyx uses high-throughput biological screening techniques to evaluate millions of molecules to identify which substances bind to specific taste receptors.
Any substance that binds and activates sweet taste receptors, for example, will send a signal to the brain that we are eating something sweet, whether it is actually sweet or not.
Senomyx posted a $3.2m net loss (compared with a $4.7m loss for the same period last year) on sales up 22.8% to $7m in the three months to June 30.