Two onomatopoeia – “yuck” and “yum” – are really the only factors (notwithstanding safety and efficacy) that matter in product development. Because if it tastes off in any way, the consumer will not be buying it again.

A disparate array of ingredients in their ready-to-process forms are often bitter, pungent, and unappealing in taste. Others may just taste “off.” The ability to neutralize the “yuck” factor is critical, and often, layering on flavors to reduce the undesirable taste creates a product that may taste ok on the first chew, but will exert a jarring aftertaste.

What is Taste?

To understand why effective taste masking is important, it is helpful to understand the basics of what taste is and how it works.

According to, the construct of taste includes smell, texture and temperature of the product. Flavor is produced after the taste is combined with smell. Here’s an example of how you know that is true: when you get a cold and your nose is stuffy, you also lose the sense of taste.

The sensation of taste as we are aware of it involves the mouth and throat. In the mouth, the tongue is responsible for identifying the dominant taste – umami (pleasing savory), sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Approximately 10,000 taste buds work in specific regions on the tongue, roof of the mouth and the throat. The visible bumps on the tongue are papillae, which contain a cluster of taste buds; their function is to perceive taste more intensely. Contrary to long-term belief, there are not taste-specific zones on the tongue, but it is now known that all tastebuds perceive each of the five tastes.

In tandem, the common chemical sense is an overall sensation of taste that is not specific to, say, salty or sweet, but more like sensations such as the heat of capsaicin in chili pepper.

The chemical substance responsible for the taste is released in the mouth and activates a nerve cell by changing specific proteins in the wall of the sensory cell (taste bud), encouraging it to relay messenger substances, which in turn activate further nerve cells. These cells transmit the taste to the brain.

Herbs are known to stimulate intense tastes. While many players in the industry opt for taste masking by adding artificial flavors and sweeteners, our taste-masking technology platforms focus on organoleptic neutrality. We ensure the ingredients are enhanced to become neutral in taste, allowing manufacturers to customize the ingredients by keeping their intended taste profile.

Our taste-masking platform masterfully transforms the challenging flavors of active ingredients — whether they’re bitter, astringent, or peculiar — into a more agreeable, neutral state. Our proprietary process not only neutralizes the inherent taste but also empowers brands to customize flavors according to their consumer’s distinct tastes, without the original flavor of the active interfering.

5 Techniques that Eliminate Disagreeable Tastes

Again, simply masking an unpleasant taste by layering flavors is not a true resolution to ensuring that undesirable flavor is gone. Nutriventia’s processes, developed through 35 years, are completely organic and solvent-free, and efficacious while ensuring a pleasant consumer experience. There are 5 technologies employed by Nutriventia to ensure no naturally off-tasting products continue to emit the unappealing taste.

  1. Conventional Masking: This technique is used for ingredients with stronger, more pungent flavor or taste. Here, sweeteners are combined with the active ingredients to allow the stronger palatable taste to overwhelm the receptors thereby giving the subject the perception of a palatable taste for the product.
  2. Ingredient-based Encapsulation: Food-compliant ingredients with a palatable taste are used to physically bind with the non-palatable active preventing its contact with receptors on the tongue.
  3. Film Coating-based Encapsulation: This technique uses a neutral-tasting film to coat /encapsulate the active ingredients to create a physical barrier.
  4. Lipid Barrier Encapsulation:  This technique utilizes select lipids without the use of solvents to encapsulate the active particles.
  5. Ingredient-based Complexation:  This technique uses specific polymers as an ionic complexing agent to complex with bitter active molecules. The bitterness is suppressed by the formation of a hydrogen bond between active and the polymer through the creation of an ionic bond and stable complex. The complexation works either by reducing contact between the active moiety and the taste receptors by altering the solubility and dissolution at salivary pH.

Learn more about our innovative technology platforms.

Posted by:Shardul Yeole