Company: Blue California


Ingredient SnapshotBlue California, a vertically integrated technology company that designs and produces sustainable ingredient solutions for the food, beverage, and supplement industry, announced jointly, with biotech innovator Conagen, the patent filing for a new, nature-based bitter blocker technology to improve the taste of a wide range of consumer products. 

Blue California is the commercial partner, rapidly scaling and securing global regulatory approvals for its new bitter blocking technology which will be marketed under the Sensegen brand.  

The Blue California Flavor and Fragrance Division will use the new technology to develop custom food and beverage solutions at its newly launched state-of-the-art Blue California Creative Center in southern California. 

“The possibilities are unlimited and our inspired and talented team customize ingredient solutions to meet this unmet market need,” said Kathy Oglesby, head of flavor and fragrance at Blue California. 

“Conagen has made impressive investments in its capabilities of high-throughput identification, design and screening to develop the natural novel compound portfolio for taste modulation specifically with this new installment of bitter blockers,” said Dr. David Nunn, vice president of research and development at Conagen. 

Bitterness is one of the basic tastes. There is a high amount of variability in sensitivity to bitterness, and many consumers find it unpleasant. Studies show that 25-30 percent of the population are bitter-blind (bitter non-tasters), while 45-50 percent are bitter-average, and 20-30 percent are bitter-sensitive (bitter super-tasters).  

As the consumer demand grows for health and wellness products with more natural and functional ingredients, the need for bitter reduction and mitigation of off-notes is required to satisfy the taste sensitivity of 70 percent of the population who will be averse to the bitter tastes.

The bitter blocker technology has unique efficacy across a range of classic bitterants that are highly popular in today’s food and beverage landscape including coffee, unsweetened cocoa, tea, tonic, energy drinks, and other drinks and snacks containing plant proteins, cannabinoids, and vitamin supplements. 

“At the Blue California Creative Center, we are creating exciting new flavors for the next generation of great tasting, clean label solutions for traditionally bitter products,” said Oglesby. 

Blue California has a long-standing partnership with biotechnology innovator Conagen. Conagen is focused on developing sustainable, nature-based ingredients which improve on existing options in the market or which represent completely novel ingredient solutions.