Palatability Design Technology
Advanced technologies for enhancing deliciousness
The pursuit of deliciousness without compromise has been in our DNA since our company was established.
Over 100 years ago, after discovering the umami ingredient glutamate in kelp broth, the Ajinomoto Group pioneered a process for manufacturing AJI-NO-MOTO®, the world’s first umami seasoning. Ever since, we have been guided by the uncompromising pursuit of deliciousness. For example, by analyzing the taste and aroma profile of freshly shaved dried bonito flakes, a staple of traditional Japanese cooking, we continue to improve the quality of our flavor seasoning HONDASHI®, even over fifty years after it was first launched. This commitment is expressed in our founding philosophy, “Eat Well, Live Well.” That’s why we say the pursuit of deliciousness is in our DNA.
Continually refining Palatability Design Technology through advanced bioscience and fine chemical technologies derived from amino acids research
Today, with more health-conscious consumers than ever before, demand for solutions to food- and nutrition-related issues, such as nutritional imbalances and deficiencies, is growing. The Ajinomoto Group has developed advanced technologies such as bioscience and fine chemicals through amino acid research and their applications across many fields, including pharmaceutics and healthcare. Today, we continue to pursue deliciousness through sensory evaluation and recipe design of food products. We are applying Palatability Design Technology––a fusion of advanced technologies developed through amino acid research––to meet growing consumer demand for functional foods and foods lower in sodium, sugar, and fat––all without compromising taste.
Palatability Design Technology: Realizing an unrivaled level of deliciousness
That sensation of deliciousness we get from certain foods is a total sensory experience arising from our combined perception of aroma, taste, and texture. Using Palatability Design Technology, the Ajinomoto Group is developing processes that reproduce the complex sensation of deliciousness. Palatability Design Technology comprises four core technologies related to the evaluation, analysis, formulation, and production engineering of flavor profiles (see schematic). One of these core technologies is palatability analysis technology, which searches for, identifies, and adjusts key ingredient components of deliciousness by integrating advanced component analysis, olfactory and taste receptor analysis, and data science to control aroma, taste, and food texture. In addition, the Ajinomoto Group’s unique technologies for converting these ingredients into food materials and controlling food texture have enabled the Ajinomoto Group to achieve exceptional deliciousness in our products. We are also trying to improve packaging and production technologies for products made using our Palatability Design Technology.
Meeting consumer needs with new approaches that add value to deliciousness
Palatability Design Technology—a collection of technologies developed by researchers in various fields––has tremendous potential to meet new consumer demands by adding value to deliciousness. The Ajinomoto Group is constantly developing new approaches in response to changing consumer needs around health and wellness, sustainability, and smart cooking by leveraging Palatability Design Technology with the goal of balancing improved food functionality with deliciousness.
Deliciousness and health
We are working to solve various issues arising from the reduction of salt, fat, and sugar in foods. This includes developing materials that enhance the perception of saltiness in lower salt foods and improving the flavor of potassium chloride, a popular salt substitute. We are also working to improve the texture of dairy products when vegetable oils are substituted for fats and to develop materials that enhance richness.
Deliciousness and sustainability
We are also developing sustainable substitutes for widely used flavor enhancers such as meat, pepper, and garlic, as well as enzyme treatments that improve the flavor and texture of plant-based protein. We are also addressing resource conservation and food allergies by developing substitutes for milk and fish paste and further working to reduce food loss through technologies that extend the shelf life of bread and rice. By optimizing aroma, taste, and texture, Palatability Design Technology has a major role to play in solving these and other issues arising from the development of more sustainable foods.
Deliciousness and smart cooking*
We are developing technologies for use with microwave ovens and other smart cooking practices to reproduce the authentic taste and texture of slow-cooked foods such as stewed meat. We are also developing food ingredients that respond to diverse consumer needs, including the growing consumer trend toward ethical consumption.**
*The Ajinomoto Group defines smart cooking as practices that make shopping for, preparing, cooking, and cleaning up after meals more convenient and enjoyable.
**Consumer behavior that takes into consideration society, the environment, people, and local communities, including community revitalization and employment.
Palatability Design Technology: Contributing to the well-being of people worldwide
Palatability Design Technology is a collection of proprietary technologies and knowhow unique to the Ajinomoto Group. In providing products and solutions that contribute to solving food and health issues, we are committed to our principle of “Nutrition without Compromise.” No matter how healthy a meal is, people will not continue eating it if it does not taste good. That is why we do not compromise on deliciousness. We provide foods that meet a variety of nutritional needs without sacrificing flavor, and Palatability Design Technology enables us to do this. The Ajinomoto Group is committed to contributing to the well-being of people worldwide by realizing new customer value around issues such as health, sustainability, and smart cooking—all without compromising taste.
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