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Flavor R&D Division

By combining scientific know-how and techniques with our sensibility as flavorists, we produce "flavors even more authentic than the originals"

In pursuit of "authentic" flavors

 The Flavor R&D's task is to develop flavors using aroma and taste substances that match the concept of each flavor product.

The Flavor R&D develops "aromas" and "tastes" for foods and beverages, such as confectionery and juice. The key idea to develop products is to create "authentic" flavors. For instance, apple flavors are developed with materials obtained from the component analysis of real apples. However, in cases where the original substances do not emit flavor enough to be perceived, as in the cases of blueberries and muscat grapes, we sometimes take advantage of the image that consumers have in mind.

We do not simply pursue "authentic" flavors. Our customers sometimes request flavors with abstract expression, such as "cheerful" and "gorgeous." In order to correctly understand the desired flavors, thorough discussions between the staff and customers are essential. On top of that, it is necessary to offer new ideas to fill in the gap. For instance, when the desired flavor is that of "delicious" Chinese noodles, we develop the vague image of "delicious" into clearer images, such as "a flavor that reminds us of the image of food stalls when we close our eyes" or "the image of strong leek flavor." We then fix these images into concrete forms. For this reason, we need to prepare as many samples and presentations as possible to create something which matches what the customer is imagining.

Preparing applications to confirm "aroma" and "taste"

 Simply presenting the "aroma" and "taste" themselves is not sufficient to meet the customer's requests. Only in the form of the actual final product can we truly communicate the "aroma" and "taste" as well as how it works to the customers. Therefore, another important task of the Flavor R&D is to actually apply the intended aroma and taste to different bases similar to the final product. Products like cookies and juices are often developed from scratch. The final flavor samples are tested from various angles, such as "how long they last without changing their aroma and taste" and "whether they do not smell or taste unpleasant after being left in storage for a long time."

However, our research and development is also a battle against time. Although long-term development and examination are essential, quick response to the customer's request is also significant. This is when the accumulated previous data, analytical equipment and our flexibility become useful. We conduct various application researches so that sample products that must be stored for days and years for examination can be properly tested in a short time. This feature is another characteristic of Ogawa's Flavor R&D.

Developing materials-the foundation for research and development of flavors

 Developing new raw materials is also a big role of Flavor R&D. New raw materials are developed by perceiving flavorist as "clients" and making every effort to meet their needs, and also through proposals. This supports commercialization.

Flavor R&D strives to advance the techniques for extracting and refining active elements from natural materials as well as advancing techniques for analyzing and synthesizing the elements. Recently, the center has also begun conducting research in biotechnological fields, proving its "responsiveness" to new demands. Techniques are used appropriately in accordance with the purpose of each product. The center has an array of equipment found often in university laboratories for organic chemistry, analytical chemistry and microbiology, this including analytical instruments such as gas and liquid chromatographs.

Some of the materials developed by the center function as "flavors" by themselves. However, there are also some that do not always emit a characteristic aroma. This is because they have been designed to work much more when they are used in combination with other materials. They are, therefore, intended to function as "accent flavors," whose effects may even surprise the researchers themselves.

Taking "detours" to create high-quality materials

 The Flavor R&D conducts continuous research of various materials and keeps them available to be well prepared for any requests or orders.

It is not easy to develop materials suitable for products that strongly appeals to both our customers and consumers in general. Such materials can only arise from repetitive trials and errors. The Flavor R&D does not spare no effort to make these "detours." We believe that without these "detours," we would be satisfied with the materials we currently have and lose sight of what Ogawa stands for, constant improvement.