Nutriswiss integrates molecular biology into oils and fats development

Sensory perception plays a crucial role in the evaluation and acceptance of foods. Nutriswiss AG, a leading Swiss specialist in sourcing and processing high-quality oils and fats, is incorporating the latest findings from sensory research into its development processes to offer lipids with optimal sensory, functional, and physiological properties.

The taste and pleasantness of oils and fats depend on various sensory stimuli, with smell and taste being the most significant. While taste is often simplified to the tongue’s papillae and the five basic tastes, numerous studies reveal that, at the molecular biological level, different receptors and inhibitors on cell surfaces directly affect human metabolism and influence perceptions of fats and oils. Nutriswiss integrates these findings into its product and process development.

One notable example is the G protein-coupled receptor GPR120, which is vital in regulating energy metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and inflammatory responses. This receptor binds to fatty acids of varying lengths, activating its function. Fatty acids, cleaved from triglycerides during lipolysis in the mouth or found freely in edible fats and oils, interact with the receptor, influencing vital metabolic processes and the sensory properties of food. Nutriswiss employs advanced refining processes to manipulate lipid composition and fatty acid concentration. This allows for the selective removal of short-chain fatty acids, resulting in a more neutral taste and optimised fatty acid composition. The interaction between fat and bitter receptors, recognised by T2R proteins, is another intriguing area of research, as the perception of bitter and fat tastes interact. Inhibitors, which modulate taste and smell by inhibiting sensory receptor activity, are also significant in sensory regulation.

The variability in the number of taste buds and receptors on the human tongue influences nutritional physiology, taste preferences, and the propensity to become overweight. Receptors respond differently depending on the fatty acid composition. Nutriswiss aims to remove undesirable fatty substances and optimise lipid composition using state-of-the-art analytics and refined processes, ensuring first-class products in terms of sensory and nutritional physiology.

Martin Mäder, Head of Industry Sales at Nutriswiss, views basic research in sensory perception as crucial for future product development: “This is an exciting area of research that we are following closely to better understand the complex world of sensory perception of oils and fats and to continuously optimise our processes and products. The findings may also contribute to the development of new flavours and fragrances in the future.”


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Hannah Larvin
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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