The exclusive licence, which will give Geneva-headquartered Firmenich the right to distribute Coolmyx CL19, builds on its Cool Collaboration Agreement with the US flavour tech firm.
San Diego-based Senomyx uses IP-protected technologies based on taste receptors to develop novel flavour ingredients.
Coolmyx can be used in food, oral care and consumer product categories, and will expand the extensive sensate capabilities of Firmenich, namely its NovaSense range and its FreezStorm "cooling technology" which can be combined with mint and non-mint flavours, a spokesperson for the company said.
Coolness beyond mint
Vice president of Firmenich’s mint business unit Cedric Fischer said Senomyx’s cooling technologies would build on its end-to-end business model in mint.
However, cooling and freshness sensations were gaining traction beyond mint across many product categories for the sense of vitality, energy, hygiene and comfort they convey, the supplier added.
Sugar alcohols or polyols, such as erythritol, also have a cooling effect, making them popular sweeteners for mint-flavoured sweets, chewing gum.
Naturally present in fruit and some fermented foods, zero-calorie erythritol is produced on an industrial level through fermentation.
In addition to Coolmyx, Firmenich is one of just two companies – the other is PepsiCo – with the rights to use Senomyx’s Sweetmyx 617, an ingredient which can cut the amount of sugar or isoglucose in food and drinks.
In March this year, Senomyx announced details of Siratose, high-potency, zero calorie sweetener it had developed from a "miniscule component” of Luo Han Guo, also known as monkfruit.
The sweet-tasting molecule, which the CEO John Poyhonen said “could not have been discovered using traditional human taste testing” will be made from a fermentation technique and would require regulatory approval. A launch on the US market is foreseen for 2020.
Firmenich, which posted an annual turnover of CHF3.34 billion (€2.86bn) in June this year, invests 10% of its turnover into R&D each year.