BSF’s News Digest March 2024

In the spotlight

Using AI to replicate odors and validating them via experimental quantification of perfume perception ǀ
A small team of chemical engineers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, working with a colleague from IA Murins Startups, has developed a way to use machine learning to replicate odors and then validate them using experimental quantification of perfume perception. Researchers have developed an AI application to generate desired odors for perfumes and food chemicals. They focused on two existing fragrances and trained the application on a database of known molecules. The goal is to create molecules that resemble the original fragrance, allowing computers to generate odors similar to current image generation.

AI could help replicate smells in danger of being lost to History ǀ New Scientist
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have developed an artificial intelligence system that can create a perfume formula based on its chemical composition, potentially reproducing rare smells like incense or forest changes.

Smell trouble: the fight for the powers of the nose ǀ Horizon
Researchers are seeking to ensure that people retain their ability to detect scents. Researchers at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre are working to restore a sense of smell in people who have lost it, which can lead to depression and reduced perception of food. The project, called Rose, aims to build an olfactory prosthesis that can be worn to detect odours.

Research team designs small-scale 'chemical nose' ǀ
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a small-scale system that forms three-dimensional patterns, serving as chemical "fingerprints" that allow chemicals in solutions to be identified. The system uses flexible posts coated with specific enzymes to bend in different directions and form distinct visual patterns.

What makes an orange? New study finds one gene, seven chemicals ǀ Ars Technica
Researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service have identified 26 compounds that predict orange versus mandarin flavor in citrus juice. The study identified seven chemicals that differentiate orange flavor from mandarin flavor, and one previously undescribed gene controlling the synthesis of six of them. This could help breed disease-resistant, tasty orange hybrids and screen seedlings for optimal flavor.

Rethinking sweetener discovering: Multiparameter modeling of molecular docking results between the T1R2–T1R3 receptor and compounds with different tastes ǀ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Molecular docking studies reveal the interaction between T1R2-T1R3 sweet taste receptor and 66 tasting compounds. Statistical analysis yields two novel methods for interpreting taste properties: quantitative correlation and qualitative discriminant analysis, providing a unique perspective for sweetener discovery.

A review on natural sweeteners, sweet taste modulators and bitter masking compounds: structure-activity strategies for the discovery of novel taste molecules ǀ Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
The demand for tasty, healthy food has led to the development of low-calorie sweeteners, sweet taste modulators, and bitter masking compounds. Advanced spectrometry technologies using structure-activity relationships (SARs) can accelerate the discovery of novel taste-active molecules.

Determining ultra-low organic molecular odor thresholds in air helps identify the most potent fungal aroma compound ǀ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Herein, a direct gas chromatography-flame ionization detector-olfactory analysis method for the determination of odor thresholds in air is reported. As model substrates for this novel approach, naturally occurring substances (R)-1-p-menthene-8-thiol as well as (3S,3aS,6R,7aS)-3,6-dimethyl-3a,4,5,6,7,7a-hexahydro-3H-1-benzofuran-2-one were used. The latter compound was synthesized from (−)-isopulegol and exhibited an extremely low odor recognition threshold of 1.9 × 10–6 ng L–1 air, the lowest value reported for a fungal aroma compound thus far.

Study reveals neural basis of odor perception ǀ AZO Life Sciences
Scents, such as coffee, flowers, or freshly-baked pumpkin pie, are created by odor molecules released by various substances and detected by our noses. In essence, we are smelling molecules, the basic unit of a substance that retains its physical and chemical properties.

Different types of popular mango varieties in india that you should try! ǀ Y2O India
Mango, a tropical fruit with a unique flavour and health benefits, is popular in India. With over 1500 types, it offers essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Predicting and improving complex beer flavor through machine learning ǀ Nature Communications
Researchers in Belgium use artificial intelligence to improve taste, but say the skill of the brewer remains vital. Researchers have found that the chemical makeup of 250 commercial Belgian beers, including lagers, fruit beers, blonds, West Flanders ales, and non-alcoholic beers, can influence how we perceive them. The study found that small changes in chemical concentrations can have a big impact on the taste and appreciation of a beer. The researchers used machine learning to predict the beer's overall appreciation.

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