Food & Beverage

food & beverage

Humans monitor the chemical composition of food and environment with three different sensory pathways: the taste system, the olfactory system and the somatosensory system.

Taste is the sense that guides and helps organisms to identify and consume essential nutrients while avoiding toxins and indigestible materials. This means recognizing and distinguishing the five basic taste modalities: sweet, bitter, salty, sour and umami.

The molecular sensors for the different taste modalities are membrane proteins belonging to either the family of G protein-coupled receptors (bitter, sweet and umami) or the family of ion channels (salty and sour).

Besides the sensation of the classic taste modalities, we also experience sensations like cooling, pungency, astringency, and fattiness, that are also mediated by receptors.

BITTER PLATFORM

To identify compounds able to smoothen/mask the bitter taste of food
ingredients such as cocoa, high intensity sweeteners, whole grains, etc.

The Bitter Platform comprises all the 25 human bitter taste receptors (hTAS2Rs) expressed in specific recipient cell lines for functional analysis.

The platform is suitable for the identification of compounds that positively or negatively interact with specific TAS2R receptors and/or for the identification of specific TAS2Rs activated by a compound.

TRIGEMINAL PLATFORM

To identify novel compounds with direct or modulating cooling, tingling
and hot/spicy properties.

The Trigeminal Platform comprises a panel of cell-based assays for detectors responsible for the somatosensory perception of cool, hot, and tingling (TRPM8, TRPA1, TRPV1).

This platform allows for the identification of novel compounds with direct or modulating cooling, tingling and hot properties with the help of specific assays involving members of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels.

SALT PLATFORM

To identify compounds able to activate/enhance the functionality
of salt receptors.

The Salt Platform comprises functional cell-based assays for the known human salt receptors.

This platform allows the identification of novel ingredients that help reduce the use of salt in food and beverages.

FATTY ACID RECEPTOR PLATFORM

To identify compounds able to improve satiety and tackle obesity.

The Fatty Acid Receptor Platform allows the identification of food ingredients which:

  • Act on fatty acid taste receptors
  • Modulate or increase the response of receptors responsive to fatty acids
  • Trigger the release of hormones related to hunger-satiety cycle (via downstream signaling mechanisms).

PET FOOD

Pets have become integral part of our lives and families and their health
and well-being is a main concern for their owners.

It is known that a proper nutrition through the provision of high quality food and natural ingredients to our pets is vital to guarantee them an healthy life.
High quality nutrition and food attractiveness through palatability enhancement is an holistic approach to guarantee the pet well-being.
With our science and research we support and guide the identification of the right nutrients and enjoyable taste.

Check out our food & beverage and olfactory platforms which can be applied to humans and pets.

Discover our other platforms

our services

We work closely with our clients to find the solution tailored to their specific needs. 

CUSTOM ASSAY DEVELOPMENT

We offer our extensive experience and expertise in custom assay development for cell-based and biochemical assays using a variety of different signal detection methods in order to better adapt the assay to the final goal.
All our assays are QC checked and satisfy stringent quality requirements for use in automated high throughput screening.

We have in-depth expertise in establishing assays on challenging targets requiring the expression of multiple subunits or auxiliary protein complexes and on cytosolic, secreted and transmembrane enzymes co-expressed with cofactors and accessory subunits, to better comply with the hit finding strategy and the physiological environment of the target.

HIGH THROUGHPUT SCREENING

The High Throughput Screening (HTS) approach has been extensively used by pharma industries in the drug discovery process since more 30 years. IMAX Discovery applies this method for the systematic identification of new bioactive compounds in the field of flavor & fragrance and cosmetics.
Pre-selecting compounds based on HTS and criteria like target activation and toxicity delivers specifically pre-qualified compounds to sensory panels and results in a considerably increased chance of success in finding novel taste modifying or odor molecules as well as actives for cosmetic applications.

IMAX Discovery has access to four fully automated state-of-the-art screening stations (Axxam and Hit Discovery Constance) designed to run biochemical and cell-based assays in 384 well format, using a variety of detection technologies.
With more than 20-year experience in the field, our team support our clients in selecting the most appropriate screening strategy according to the specific target’s features and goal.

In combination to their screening program, our clients can have access to our:

  • unique Natural compound collection
  • synthetic compound collection
  • ready-to-go assays, or alternatively, they can access our customizable assay development services or transfer their own assays to us.

 

HIGH CONTENT SCREENING

IMAX Discovery offers a wide-range of HCS services to clients utilizing 2D and 3D cell cultures. With full access to Operetta and Opera HC image systems, our team of HCS experts will help you in identifying or validate new active ingredients for your cosmetic applications.
Our HC analysis systems allow the simultaneous analysis of multiple phenotypes, and single cell analysis.

3D cell culture models have proven to be more physiologically relevant and seem to better mimic the in vivo physiology and environment. 3D phenotypic analysis represents an interesting option at relatively low-cost before moving to in-vivo validation.

ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY

Ion channels play a critical role in conveying sensations like tingling, burning, cold, thus providing a key contribution to taste, touch, thermosensation and nociception.

IMAX Discovery can support your ion channel analysis taking advantage of a large panel of technologies for high- and medium throughput screening, compound profiling and mechanism of action studies.

To satisfy the client’s needs, our experienced scientists will use one of our “ready to use” assays or engineer a dedicated customised cell line.