Research Programs

Sweet Taste Research

Sweet Taste ResearchOur ongoing research is focused on natural sweet taste ingredients that give food companies healthier ways to flavor, allowing for a significant reduction of traditional higher-calorie sweeteners in food and beverage products while offering the same great taste.

The top priority for our natural sweet taste discovery and development program is to identify a high intensity zero- or low-calorie sweetener that is superior to existing natural sweetener options. Senomyx has screened over three million natural samples since 2010 and identified nearly 300 sweeteners from 35 distinct families of sweeteners found in nature. After conducting a comprehensive analysis of the taste and physical properties, we have advanced our lead natural sweetener into the development phase.

This novel sweetener is a miniscule component of Luo Han Guo, which is the fruit of the Siraitia grosvenorii plant.  Senomyx is introducing our new naturally occurring high intensity sweetener under the common or usual name of siratose. This is not the brand name, but the name you would see on an ingredient list within the nutrition facts information panel on a packaged food or beverage product. The discovery of this minor component was facilitated by our proprietary taste science technologies.  As Siratose comprises less than one percent of Luo Han Guo, it could not have been discovered using traditional human taste testing.

Siratose has demonstrated greater potency and a better taste profile than rebaudioside-A, (the most used sweetener from stevia plants), in sensory evaluations. In addition, it has shown improved stability in low pH products, such as carbonated beverages, and increased solubility, making it easier to work with compared to all known stevia plant-based sweeteners.  Siratose also has demonstrated superior potency and overall taste quality to existing Luo Han Guo sweeteners as well as over 50 other minor sweetener components found in this fruit and plant that we have evaluated.

We have developed a comprehensive intellectual property strategy, initiated preliminary safety studies and are working with fermentation process experts to advance siratose towards commercialization.

Our next generation artificial sweet taste booster, Sweetmyx FS22, has recently been determined to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the Expert Panel of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) of the United States.   This GRAS determination allows Senomyx to pursue commercialization in the U.S. and a number of other countries.   FS22 allows for a significant reduction of both sucrose and high fructose corn syrup while maintaining great taste.  It also has improved physical properties over our existing taste boosters making it easier to use in end consumer products.  We are considering a broad range of strategic options for commercialization of this novel sweet taste booster ingredient.   At this point Senomyx is not conducting additional research within the artificial Sweet Taste Program.

PepsiCo is providing funding to support our natural Sweet Taste Research Program.

Salt Taste Research

Salt Taste Research

The goal of our Salt Taste Program is to identify flavor ingredients that allow a significant reduction of sodium in foods and beverages while maintaining the salty taste that consumers enjoy. This program is an important focus for our research activities. The next key step is to determine the specific protein or group of proteins found in taste buds that detect salt in foods. Senomyx has been evaluating a large proprietary database of taste bud proteins, and we have identified a small group of proteins that may be involved in salt taste. We are continuing to explore the extent to which these proteins may enable salt taste perception, which would allow us to use them to discover new flavor ingredients that boost salty taste.

Cool Program

Our newest cooling flavor ingredient, Coolmyx™ CL19 provides a clean, long lasting cooling taste sensation and is appropriate for use in confectionary and oral care products, as well as in many food and beverage product categories. Coolmyx CL19 and related cooling ingredients have been exclusively licensed to Firmenich.  Senomyx recently reinitiated our cool taste screening activities with previously unscreened library samples, with a goal of discovering and developing new cooling ingredients with benefits over existing cooling ingredients.