Food science

World’s foremost seasoning technologies

Food is experienced through the five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. The Ajinomoto Group’s world-leading seasoning technologies are based on two of our core strengths—our ability to precisely identify all of the taste, texture, and flavor factors that comprise food satisfaction, and our ability to apply this expertise to meet the needs and preferences of consumers through innovative materials, and blending technologies.

The technology of taste

We use advanced technology to investigate the mechanisms involved in taste, to discover new materials, and to apply these findings to expand our portfolio of enhancers or modifiers of umami, sweetness, and other tastes. We focus in particular on kokumi, another food attribute (sometimes described as “mouthfeel”) that exhibits a unique taste-modifying profile.

The technology of flavor

Flavor is perceived by stimulation of the sense of smell and is an important factor in taste satisfaction. We employ GC-MS-Sniffing and other instrumentation to analyze the constituents of flavor and their relationship to taste satisfaction, then apply our findings to the development and quality control of new seasonings.

The technology of texture

Texture is another significant factor in the perception of deliciousness. We have commercialized a transglutaminase preparation that cross-links protein molecules to give foods optimal physical properties. This preparation is now widely used all over the world for seafood processing, meat processing, and noodle production. We have also commercialized an α-glucosidase preparation that improves the texture of starch by changing its chain structure while inhibiting the degradation of starch over time. It also modifies the physical properties of foods by adding elasticity and stickiness.