September 23, 2020

Patent for nature-based bitter blocker announced by Blue California, Conagen

Vertically integrated technology company Blue California and biotech innovator Conagen jointly announced the patent filing for a new, nature-based bitter blocker technology to improve the taste of a wide range of consumer products.

Blue California is the commercial partner, rapidly scaling and securing global regulatory approvals for its new bitter blocking technology which will be marketed under the Sensegen brand.

The Blue California Flavor and Fragrance Division will use the new technology to develop custom food and beverage solutions at its newly launched state-of-the-art Blue California Creative Center in Southern California.

“Conagen has made impressive investments in its capabilities of high-throughput identification, design and screening to develop the natural novel compound portfolio for taste modulation specifically with this new installment of bitter blockers,” said David Nunn, vice president of research and development at Conagen.

Bitterness is one of the basic tastes. There is a high amount of variability in sensitivity to bitterness, and many consumers find it unpleasant. Studies show that 25-30% of the population are bitter-blind (bitter non-tasters), while 45-50% are bitter-average, and 20-30% are bitter-sensitive (bitter super-tasters).

As the consumer demand grows for health and wellness products with more natural and functional ingredients, the need for bitter reduction and mitigation of off-notes is required to satisfy the taste sensitivity of 70% of the population who will be averse to the bitter tastes.

The bitter blocker technology has unique efficacy across a range of classic bitterants that are highly popular in today’s food and beverage landscape including coffee, unsweetened cocoa, tea, tonic, energy drinks, and other drinks and snacks containing plant proteins, cannabinoids, and vitamin supplements.

Blue California has a long-standing partnership with biotechnology innovator Conagen. Conagen is focused on developing sustainable, nature-based ingredients which improve on existing options in the market or which represent completely novel ingredient solutions.

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