Food Companies Test Flavorings That Can Mimic Sugar, Salt, or MSG
Several big food and beverage companies are looking at a new ingredient in the battle for health-conscious consumers: a chemical that tricks the taste buds into sensing sugar or salt even when it is not there. Kraft Foods, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Campbell Soup are all working with a biotechnology company called Senomyx, which has developed several chemicals, most of which do not have any flavor of their own but instead work by activating or blocking receptors in the mouth that are responsible for taste. They can enhance or replicate the taste of sugar, salt, and MSG in foods. By adding one of Senomyx’s flavorings to their products, manufacturers can, for instance, reduce the sugar in a cookie or salt in a can of soup by one-third to one-half while retaining the same sweetness or saltiness. This product has not yet been approved by the FDA, but if it does get approved do you think it will be something the health conscious consumer will demand? Or is the fad of eating and being healthy gone?