BSF’s News Digest October 2023

Our news digest has been slightly reformatted. The "in the spotlight" articles will contain a summary of the news, while the other - still interesting - articles will contain links only and will now be grouped by topic.

In the spotlight

New taste: Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami and … ammonium chloride? | New Atlas
Researchers have discovered the mechanism by which taste buds detect ammonium chloride, exemplified by the salty licorice taste in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. This discovery suggests the existence of a sixth basic taste, although oleogustus was previously announced as the sixth taste.

Guinness World Records crowns new hottest pepper ǀ BBC
Pepper X has been crowned the hottest chili pepper in the world by Guinness World Records, surpassing the Carolina Reaper chili pepper after 10 years. For comparison, a habanero pepper typically hits 100,000 Scoville heat units, but Pepper X registers at 2.69 million units. As a proprietary pepper, Pepper X pods and seeds will not be sold.

AI took a creativity test. It scored better than 99% of humans ǀ ZME Science
A new study suggests that AI, while emulating creativity, is actually very creative in the way we currently judge creativity in students, complicating the debate on its true nature.

Will AI kill our creativity? ǀ The Conversation
Generative AI's ability to produce new texts, images, and audio is disrupting creative jobs. The Writers Guild of America demands AI be used as research tool, not a replacement for its members. AI tools like Claude and ChatGPT offer a creative experience, but their impact on creativity remains uncertain. Balancing human creativity with AI is crucial, and intellectual property law is key.

Can AI crave a favorite food? ǀ The Pennsylvania  State University
 Penn State researchers are developing an electronic tongue that mimics how taste influences our eating habits, providing a blueprint for AI that processes information more like a human being. The goal is to incorporate the emotional part of human intelligence, as human behavior is difficult to measure and replicate in a robot. Researchers are developing graphene devices to mimic taste receptors on the tongue, aiming to train AI systems to distinguish subtle differences in tastes.

Mars, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, and Givaudan on how AI can improve NPD ǀ Food Navigator
NPD takes time. Long hours of R&D lie between an idea and a product launch. AI, however, is helping a range of major companies generate product ideas, as well as do market research and gain insights into the minds of consumers.

AI nose startups take on our smelly world ǀ Crunchbase
Scent is becoming a more digitizable information, similar to images or sound. Technology to detect and identify odors is gaining broader adoption, with 20 smell-focused startups focusing on digital scent detection and odor-based cancer diagnostics, according to Crunchbase.

Laying a controversial smell theory to rest ǀ PNAS
Before the cloning of odorant receptors (ORs), two competing mechanisms for odor detection were discussed: chemical and spectral. The chemical theory posited that odorants respond to molecular attributes, while the spectral theory suggested the olfactory system detects molecular vibrations. Block et al. attacked the vibration theory using synthetic organic chemistry and heterologous expression of ORs, finding no evidence to support it.

Why human olfaction should not be modeled on theories and tasks of vision ǀ Frontiers in Psychology
This paper discusses the importance of understanding human olfaction, arguing that concepts borrowed from vision are not helpful in understanding its functions. Olfaction is a hidden sense, guided by unconscious perception and implicit memory. Flavors, and the pleasures gained from them, are most often consciously perceived. These are experiences mostly determined by olfaction, taste, touch and chemesthesis. A critical examination of the ecological and physical constraints of olfaction and the other senses should be given priority.

How odors warp our color perception ǀ Neuroscience News
Researchers discovered that scents can distort our color perception, revealing a complex interplay between our senses. In a study involving six different odors and a neutral task, participants' color perception skewed in alignment with established associations. However, this distortion was not uniform across all scents, highlighting the interplay between sensory inputs and our daily perceptions.

Classification of tastants: a deep learning based approach ǀ Molecular Informatics
This study uses deep learning models to classify sweet, bitter, and umami molecules in food and beverage industries. The models, trained on a dataset of 1466 tastants, show comparable performance and can be used for tastant design.

Coffee is more than flavor, the creation of a coffee character wheel ǀ Journal of Sensory Studies
This study gathered 679 sensory terms for describing coffee acidity, mouthfeel, and aftertaste from literature, sensory panels, and internet material and correlated into word maps. The reduced terms were arranged onto a coffee character wheel, providing a concise list for coffee cuppers to assess these characteristics. The reduced terms are organized from broad to specific, making it easier for coffee drinkers to evaluate their coffee.

How Sweet It Is! ǀ Food Technology Magazine
A visually oriented overview of sugar and sweetener ingredient trends.


An 'historic' moment for CBD industry as UK Gov accepts recommended THC limit ǀ Nutra Ingredients Europe

Comment le bon goût s’incarne : le métier méconnu d’aromaticien ǀ NEZ

Flavored vape restrictions lead to higher cigarette sales ǀ Futurity


16 types of salt and how to use them ǀ TastingTable

All the ways the US completely ruined bread ǀ Mashed

Apparently, one pineapple is not a single fruit. here's why ǀ Mashed

As temperatures rise, Sicily turns to exotic fruits ǀ

Coca-Cola's beverly aperitif that you've probably never heard of ǀ TastingTable

England looks to change ‘alcohol-free’ definition ǀ Beverage Daily

Follow the science: ultra-processed foods aren’t all unhealthy ǀ The Guardian

From the rear end of a pheasant, Brazil's best coffee ǀ TastingTable

Georgia's tarragon-flavored tarkhuna soda has a radioactive hue ǀ Mashed

Glyphosate: where is it banned or restricted? ǀ

How caffeine plays a role in altering the taste of soft drinks ǀ TastingTable

How food nostalgia guides our approach to eating ǀ TastingTable

How hot is ‘Pepper x’? Its creator spent 6 hours recovering from eating it ǀ Scientific American

Industry Insights from NIZO: Great flavour without compromise for plant-based food ǀ Food Navigator

Is vitamin water good for you? ǀ ZME Science

People disgusted with flavor of Coke's AI-generated soda ǀ Futurism

Revealed: the industry figures behind ‘declaration of scientists’ backing meat eating ǀ The Guardian

The ark of citrus ǀ Atlas Obscura

The case against ultra-processed foods is missing one crucial piece of evidence ǀ Inverse

The complex chemistry behind America’s spirit – how bourbon gets its distinctive taste and color ǀ The Conversation

The different ways milk is sold around the world and why ǀ TastingTable

The exact difference between apple cider and apple juice ǀ Food Republic

The impact of reformulation: producer’s nightmare or brand boost? ǀ Food Navigator

The key difference between japanese and indian curry ǀ Food Republic

The scientific reason some beer tastes like buttered popcorn ǀ TastingTable

The vast difference between whiskey and whisky, explained ǀ Food Republic

Vegan oder omnivor - Welche Ernährung ist günstiger? ǀ Forschung und Wissen

What can we do about ultraprocessed foods? ǀ Knowable Magazine

What is hybrid meat and how does it differ from plant-based varieties? ǀ TastingTable

What makes a sport drink truly hydrating? ǀ Mashed

Why an unusual global export industry keeps growing in a developing country ǀ

Why coconut water is the ultimate hydrating drink ǀ TastingTable

Why it actually makes sense to eat spicy food when it's hot outside ǀ Mashed

Wild vs normal blueberries: what's the difference? ǀ Mashed


Classic perfumery ingredients — a brief overview ǀ Fragrantica

Dear Fragrantica: Why are so many fragrances discontinued? ǀ Fragrantica

Chanel jasmine harvest: from field to flaçon ǀ The Perfume Society

Quand la parfumerie s'inspire de la recherche spatiale pour sauver les roses sur terre ǀ Sciences & Avenir


Artificial sweeteners face more bad press – but is it unfair? ǀ Chemistry World

Bier ohne Alkohol belastet auch die Leber ǀ Forschung und Wissen

Eat beans and scratch your own back – expert advice on how to age better, inside and out ǀ The Guardian

Esto es lo que dice la ciencia sobre los beneficios del chocolate en el cerebro ǀ Muy Interesante

Is plant-based meat healthy? Pros, cons you need to know before making a switch on your diet ǀ The Science Times

Link between fruits, veggies & microbiome confirmed for the first time ǀ New Atlas

Major study claims to identify the root cause of obesity: Fructose ǀ Science Alert

Sniffing plasma helps COVID-19 patients smell again ǀ Drug Discovery News

The real reason science can't explain why people lose their sense of smell ǀ Inverse

The sweet ingredient that soothes your tongue when you burn it  ǀ Mashed

Turmeric could be as effective as medicine for indigestion, says study ǀ The Guardian

Your unique body odor could identify who you are and provide insights into your health – all from the touch of a hand ǀ The Conversation


A brighter shade of red ǀ CNRS News

Ancient Egyptians mummified their food to eat in the afterlife ǀ Mashed

Archaeologists discover 5,000-year-old wine at the tomb of Meret-Neith in Abydos ǀ

Genetic study of citrus fruits suggests they originated in southern China ǀ

How coffee became even more popular than tea in the UK ǀ Mashed

How cults and religious groups forever changed american food ǀ Atlas Obscura

How fried beer came into existence because of the state fair of Texas ǀ TastingTable

How restaurants get Michelin stars: a brief history of the Michelin guide ǀ Escoffier

How tea became an integral part of british culture ǀ Mashed

How Thai food became a worldwide favorite ǀ Mashed

In search of scents lost: Odeuropa explores smell history and olfactory heritage ǀ Fragrantica

The 18th century chocolate drink that preceded the rise of coffee ǀ TastingTable

The evolution of coffee culture: from bean to cup to lifestyle ǀ Hospitality Insights

The rise, fall, and rise again of hard apple cider in america ǀ TastingTable

Von Humboldt bis Nestlé: Diese Menschen haben geprägt, was wir heute essen ǀ GEO

Weekly dose of wonder: The flavor and history of umami ǀ NPR

Why egyptian pharaohs took watermelon to the grave ǀ Food Republic

Why humans have historically preferred to drink cow's milk ǀ TastingTable


8th place 2023 photomicrography competition: Caffeine crystals ǀ Nikon Small World

Compound gives farmed fish a muddy flavor ǀ Futurity

Molecular properties are only weakly correlated, study finds ǀ

Odor molecules DataBase

Only 1% of chemical compounds have been discovered – here’s how we search for others that could change the world ǀ The Conversation

Scientists find cannabis compound inside totally different plant ǀ Science Alert

The chemistry of grape ǀ Scentspiracy

What stinks? The role of hydrogen sulfide in the gut ǀ

Why does fish smell more than other kinds of meat? Unveiling the science behind ‘fishy’ odor ǀ The Science Times


Gustology with Dr. Gary Beauchamp ǀ Ologies Podcast

Sensory transduction: how our senses work ǀ YouTube


Are smell illusions real? ǀ PopSci+

How altering noise can actually change the way our palates taste food ǀ TastingTable

Mapping neural activity patterns and odor perception ǀ Northwestern Medicine

Monell researchers quantify changes in odor signaling as two nasal nerve systems interact ǀ Monell Center

Nobody knows how consciousness works – but top researchers are fighting over which theories are really science ǀ The Conversation

Salt taste is surprisingly mysterious ǀ Knowable Magazine

The neurology of taste: how your brain perceives flavor ǀ IFL Science

Variety is the texture of life ǀ Indiana Public Media

Why human olfaction should not be modeled on theories and tasks of vision ǀ Frontiers in Psychology

Why what we see influences what we hear ǀ PopSci+


2D Chromatography and 2D Spectroscopy in Analytical Chemistry: an Overview ǀ Journal od Analytical Chemistry

A two-run two-dimensional gas chromatography method using flame ionization and mass spectrometry for the automated and robust determination of the nearly complete wine aroma-volatile profile ǀ SSRN

Automated aroma and flavour profiling of honey using high-capacity sorptive extraction ǀ LCGC

Downing non-alcoholic beverages leads to a drop in excessive drinking ǀ New Atlas

Flavor optimization in dairy fermentation: From strain screening and metabolic diversity to aroma regulation ǀ Trends in Food Science & Technology

Google’s AI protein folder IDs structure where none seemingly existed ǀ Ars Technica

Novel approaches for lemon grass essential oil extraction: Ultrasound sonication and sparger-based microwave assisted extraction as a combined technique ǀ Flavour and Fragrance Journal

Odor reproduction technology using a small set of odor components ǀ IEEJ

Onions n' fungus could make fake meat smell meatier ǀ New Atlas

Perspectives on nasal odorant metabolism research ǀ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Recent advances on mulberry volatile flavor: A review ǀ Journal of Food Composition and Analysis

Researchers issue urgent call to save the world’s largest flower -Rafflesia - from extinction ǀ Eureka Alert!

Science of human scent: how genetics, volatile organic compounds define its uniqueness and tracking potential ǀ The Science Times

Study on the sweetening mechanism of aroma compounds in yangshan peach using sensory analysis, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulation techniques ǀ SSRN

Study sheds light on the neural underpinning of subjective odor perceptions ǀ Medical Xpress

Sweet taste receptors and associated sweet peptides: insights into structure and function ǀ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Tackling the science of taste ǀ Food Technology Magazine

The nose knows: How microbiomes and the smells they produce help shape behaviour in bugs, birds, beasts and humans ǀ The Conversation

The sweet chemistry of saltwater taffy: air bubbles work all the magic ǀ ZME Science

Variation of wine preference amongst consumers is influenced by the composition of salivary proteins ǀ NPJ Science of Food

Volatile compounds and aroma characteristics of mushrooms: a review ǀ Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

We finally know what makes orange carrots orange ǀ New Scientist

Wild plants may edit their genomes in the same way we make GM crops – and it could be crucial to evolution ǀ The Conversation

XGBoost odor prediction model: finding the structure-odor relationship of odorant molecules using the extreme gradient boosting algorithm ǀ Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics

You say tomato, these scientists say evolutionary mystery ǀ

Your stomach could be the key to fighting jet lag, scientists say ǀ Science Alert

Soft skills

‘I couldn’t believe the data’: how thinking in a foreign language improves decision-making ǀ The Guardian

We must learn from science that “intelligent failure” is the key to success ǀ Big Think


‘Eat it all, like a cherry tomato’: How edible algae packaging is helping brands ditch plastic ǀ Food Navigator

Climate change is improving French wine—for now ǀ

How hop nerds are saving your favorite beer from climate change ǀ Wired

New study shows we can create value from food waste by turning it into a highly desirable material – nanocellulose ǀ The Conversation


AI food preferences, emotional intelligence? Researchers develop 'electronic tongue' that mimics how taste affects what one eats based on wants, needs ǀ The Science Times

Bio-nose technology: conferring a sense of smell ǀ University of Maryland

Bio-nose technology: conferring a sense of smell ǀ University of Maryland

Can an artificial nose detect food spoilage? ǀ

New AI aims to reduce food and beverage product launch risk ǀ Food Navigator

UMD researchers’ ‘nose on a chip’ device could technologically replicate sense of smell ǀ University of Maryland


Coca-Cola used AI to create its newest flavor: The Y3000 soda ‘from the future’ ǀ CNBC

Getting a taste of 2024 flavor trends ǀ Edlong

Trending flavors: Coming in hot ǀ Food & Beverage Insider

Latest news

Wednesday, November 08, 2023
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