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Opertech Bio Researchers Develop Method For High-Throughput Taste Evaluation
Date:8/12/2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA (PRWEB) August 12, 2013

Scientists at Opertech Bio, Inc. have developed a proprietary apparatus and methodology for high-throughput taste evaluation. The work points to approaches that have the potential to greatly improve the process for discovering new flavor ingredients, measuring palatability and optimizing flavor formulations. The findings appear in the August 12, 2013 issue of the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

The research paper, entitled, “A High Throughput In Vivo Assay For Taste Quality and Palatability,” was authored by members of Opertech’s discovery research team and former colleagues, including R. Kyle Palmer, Daniel L. Long, Francis X. Brennan, Tulu Buber, Robert W. Bryant, and F. Raymond Salemme. The complete manuscript is available online at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0072391.

The manuscript describes the Microtiter Operant Gustometer, or MOG, a high throughput system for measuring both taste quality (what does a sample taste like?) and palatability (how much do I like it?). With the MOG, rats are trained to become expert taste testers. Rats are used as subjects because of their extraordinary sensory capabilities, ease in training for complex behavioral tasks, and the substantial overlap between rat and human food preferences.

The MOG Approach to Taste Evaluation

Taste quality measurement is achieved through the experimental paradigm of operant taste discrimination. Rats are trained to press two levers for a food pellet reward after they have tasted solutions presented to them in a 96-well plate. To receive the reward, the rats must press the right lever if the solution is a standard (for example, a sweet sugar solution) and the left lever if the solution presented has any other taste. By comparing the percentage of the presses on the right
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