The BSF News Digest starts

Our LinkedIn news feed is a unique endeavor that has certainly caught the attention of many professionals looking for information on anything related to flavour, food, chemistry, or creativity. As of February 2021, we share up to 10 stories per day. Not all of them will appeal to everyone, so in this new blog series, Ján Peťka and Trevor Groom will be your selectors and let you know what news they think are the most relevant for our community. The digest will always start with one or more highlights and add some additional reading that may be of interest to you.

In the spotlight

A principal odor map unifies diverse tasks in olfactory perception | Science
In a major breakthrough, scientists have developed a tool that can predict a molecule's odour profile based on its structure alone. It can identify molecules that look different but smell the same, as well as molecules that look very similar but smell completely different. Here are comments on the achievement from Joel Mainland of Monell Center and Jane Parker of the University of Reading.

More news

Dynamic instrumental and sensory methods used to link aroma release and aroma perception: A review | Molecules
This review discusses temporal sensory methods for analyzing dynamic aroma perception and in vivo dynamic instrumental methods for aroma release, discussing challenges and future research perspectives.

MycoTechnology discovers natural sweet protein derived from honey truffle | Food Ingredients First
A natural sweet protein from honey truffle, a rare mushroom, has been unearthed by MycoTechnology, a company dedicated to mushroom research and innovation.

How does ice cream work? | The Conversation
A chemist explains why you can’t just freeze cream and expect results

How temperature affects taste | Sonnda Catto
In this article Sonnda Catto explains the thermal dynamics of taste perception.

One perfumer's path to grapefruit: on Jean Claude Ellena | Fragrantica
Perfumers and artists often compare their work to musical techniques, such as notes and chords, and complex fragrances to sonatas and symphonies. The idée fixe, a recurring leitmotif in classical music, is a common theme in the perfumery craft. Jean Claude Ellena, a renowned perfumer, surpasses the status of craftsman into artist.

Smell Explorer | Odeuropa
Odeuropa Smell Explorer is a web tool aimed at exploring smell as a cultural phenomenon, focusing on scents' historical and cultural significance in European history and culture.

The aroma of history: how spices weave the tale of culinary traditions | ABP News Live
Beyond its culinary use, spices have a fascinating history of trade, culture exchange, and medicinal properties.

 Why does durian fruit smell so bad? Scientists examine the chemicals that make this asian crop stink | Science Times
In Southeast Asia, a tropical fruit called durian is highly appreciated by consumers due to its great taste and being highly nutritious. However, it is also famous for being the stinkiest fruit in the world.

The bubbly chemistry behind carbonated beverages | The Conversation
Carbonation, a process in which gases burst in beverages like soda, champagne, or sparkling water, is influenced by factors like temperature and surface tension.

Vanilla: History, Production and Typologies | Scentspiracy
Vanilla, a precious spice, is used in the food and perfume industry. Originating from the Aztecs, it was introduced to Europe in the 16th century. Cultivation involves artificial pollination using Melipona bees. Vanilla pods are harvested and processed to preserve flavors and aromas. There are 110-130 species, with three having significant economic relevance: Vanilla Planifolia, Vanilla Tahitensis, and Pompona Vanilla.

We may never know the true flavor of juicy fruit gum | Tasting Table
Since 1893, bubble-blowers have been chewing Juicy Fruit gum, which is likely a cocktail of fruit-adjacent artificial flavors, rather than containing actual fruit or juice.

What the Coffee Flavor Wheel actually is | Mashed
The Coffee Flavor Wheel is a graphic divided into rings and sections, providing a standard group of coffee flavors and identifying different types of coffee.

Why do cats love tuna? Umami taste receptors in felines explained | Science Times
Besides Garfield's iconic affection for lasagna, few foods are as synonymous with cats as tuna. Despite its unusual appeal for desert-evolved animals, tuna is a staple in cat food, accounting for over 6% of wild-caught fish used. Now, researchers have found a scientific explanation for cats' love for this fish.

‘Endless possibilities’: the chemists changing molecules atom by atom | The Guardian
When it comes to altering an existing molecule more fundamentally – such as within the rings of carbon atoms at the centre of many organic compounds – Levin likens those atoms and bonds to the connectors and rods in a child’s Tinkertoy set: “It’s very obvious when you’re looking at the toy that the best way to change it would be to pull out the part you don’t want and put the new one in,” he says. “It has always bothered me that that’s not something we have the capacity to do chemically.” That is, not until now.

What is ‘swicy’? The sweet-spicy food trend you're seeing everywhere | Today
From fast food to condiments and cocktails, sweet heat is showing up everywhere.

Making sense of smell, one cell at a time | Nature
By recording electrical responses in the human olfactory epithelium, scientists shed light on how smell can be damaged by COVID-19.

The strange untold history of sports drinks | Mashed
Humans have intuited how to replenish vital nutrients when exerting themselves for millennia. We dive into the surprisingly long history of sports and energy drinks.

Diving into beer’s aroma pools | Beer & Brewing
Our growing awareness of thiols and other hop compounds are just scratching the surface of beer’s aromatic complexity. Inspired by some recent research into wine, Randy Mosher outlines a new model—aroma pools—that might help us think differently about how and what we smell in beer.