Whey protein flavour research

Leading ingredient supplier, Carbery, has commissioned new research at North Carolina State University focusing on in-depth sensory science and the flavour chemistry of whey protein ingredients. Carbery’s unique research will characterise the inherent flavours present in its whey proteins. It aims to gain valuable information on the relationship between flavour, manufacturing processes, storage and consumer responses.


The research includes the creation of specific flavour lexicons for whey protein and quantitative taste profiling, both of which are indispensable tools for documenting flavour. Professor MaryAnne Drake, of the Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences department of the University explains: “The flavour research will focus on the development of defined sensory languages for proteins and the use of flavour chemistry to benefit product development and formulation. It will also lead to in-depth understanding of inherent flavours in whey protein and greater insight into consumers’ perception of flavour.”


Carbery and its world leading flavour and savoury ingredients company, Synergy, work closely on flavour engineering for whey protein. The results of this study will provide invaluable information for Synergy and its customers who need flavours that have been specially formulated for use with whey and other proteins. Barbara McCarthy, Carbery’s Ingredient Applications Manager comments: “We feel that it is essential to have a precise understanding of the sensory flavour profiles in whey protein ingredients, so that we can evolve our processes and continue to provide the highest quality ingredients.”


Published work on the nature of the chemical sources responsible for whey protein hydrolysate flavour is not currently available. Much of the research will characterise the flavour profiles of Carbery’s Optipep™ hydrolyzed whey protein range. The outcomes of this sensory flavour research for whey protein will greatly benefit Carbery’s customers in infant, clinical and sports nutrition sectors. The research will cover Carbery’s whey protein concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysed whey (Optipep). Initial results are expected later this year and the study is due to be completed in 2011.

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