BSF’s News Digest December 2023

In the spotlight

Scientists have invented a simple new test for creativity, and you can try it out ǀ ScienceAlert
What makes one person more creative than another? Creativity is hard to define and perhaps even more difficult to measure, but scientists think they've come up with a remarkably simple way of assessing at least one aspect of it. It's a test that you can take yourself in a couple of minutes, and it works best when you don't know much about how the analysis works.

2024 Flavor trends for food and beverage ǀ Nutritional Outlook
In 2024, the flavor game will focus on variety, catering to every palate and preference, with flavors like health, wellness, indulgence, nostalgia, and adventure expected to trend.

“The human adventure”, by Jean-Claude Ellena ǀ Nez
Our day-to-day lives are being increasingly infiltrated by what is given the catchall name of artificial intelligence. Perfumers are no exception. So how does AI change our relationship with the creative process? Drawing on an historical analysis of his profession, Jean-Claude Ellena offers a review of these new technologies, often championed by the perfumery industry.

A trillion scents. One nose. ǀ Columbia University
A research team at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute has discovered a previously undetected mechanism in mice that could explain how each sensory cell in mammalian noses becomes tailored to detect a specific odor chemical. The study reveals details of the final stage of this process, where the prevailing gene determines the cell's odorant sensitivity.

Predicting odor profile of food from its chemical composition: Towards an approach based on artificial intelligence and flavorists expertise ǀ Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering
This study aims to develop an integrative model that uses expert knowledge, fuzzy logic, and machine learning to predict the quantitative odor description of complex mixtures of odorants. The model uses mathematically formalized knowledge of four senior flavorists, queries analytical databases, and aggregates information. The model was applied to predict the odor profile of 16 red wines.

Brain function dramatically boosted by certain fragrances during sleep ǀ ScienceAlert
Of all the senses we love to indulge, scent is often neglected – but the right smells could be just what your brain needs to keep it whirring in old age.

Chemists and volcanologists want you to make a better espresso ǀ PopSci
A team of chemists and volcanologists discovered that adding water to coffee beans before grinding reduces static electricity, resulting in a better-tasting espresso.

Application of sorbent-based extraction techniques in food analysis ǀ Molecules
This review discusses popular sorbent-based methods in food analysis, including solid-phase extraction, SPME, stir bar sorptive extraction, MIPs, HCSE, NTD, and TF-SPME, discussing their utility, challenges, and future directions.

Taste depends on nature and nurture. Here are seven ways you can learn to enjoy foods you don’t like ǀ CSIRO
Is it possible to train your tastebuds to enjoy foods you previously didn’t, like training a muscle at the gym?

Nonalcoholic beer: New techniques craft flavorful brews without the buzz ǀ The Conversation
To some people, nonalcoholic beer sounds like an oxymoron, but newer techniques are producing tasty, high-quality options in this growing beverage category.

What does lab-grown coffee taste like? ǀ ZME Science
Coffee, a globally beloved beverage, faces sustainability challenges due to climate change, land use, and increasing demand. This is why some scientists are turning to cellular agriculture for a solution.

A matter of taste: food preferences may be influenced by our unique ‘tongue prints’ ǀ The Guardian
An analysis of 3D images of human tongues suggests that each of us may have a unique “tongue print” just as we have individual fingerprints. The research could help to shed new light on why people’s food preferences can be so varied, and assist in the design of healthier, yet delicious, alternatives to fatty or sugary foods.

Before drinking coffee, people washed their hands with it ǀ Gastro Obscura
In the 15th century, a compelling new drink became the talk of the Near East. Called qahwa in Arabic, it was none other than coffee. But people in the region had been using coffee long before that. Only, not as a drink.

Cracking the combinatorial odour code ǀ Nez
Today, let’s take a geek’s journey to the heart of olfactory receptors, sources of unexpected hope, with Jérémie Topin, Assistant professor at Université Côte d’Azur, and Matej Hladis, PhD student, both members of GDR O3.

Blessèd are the cheesemakers for their bacterial community shall show its worth | Chemistry World
Researchers found that Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactococcus strains play a crucial role in the development of flavor in cheddar cheese, supporting growth and shaping metabolite profiles during cheese ripening, and providing nitrogen for nucleotide biosynthesis.

Behind the Scenes of Smelling Paper: Blotter Knowledge by Scentis ǀ Fragrantica
The blotter's story is intimately linked to the perfumery’s one. Commonly called "mouillette" in the jargon of perfumers, its history is more than 100 years old and persists today with the unique expertise of Jean-Paul MALERBA, founder and creator of the company Scentis in 2005.

Unraveling the evolutionary origins of umami and sweet taste preferences ǀ
Researchers have discovered five new undiscovered groups within the taste receptor type 1 (T1R) family, revealing an incomplete understanding of the evolutionary history of taste receptors. This discovery is based on a genome-wide survey of jawed vertebrates, including major fish groups.

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