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Cost reduction through Top Note Flavour matching – letting science take the strain!

The Top Note Flavours division has been quietly growing over the past five years investing into the technical resources of the laboratories and continuing the development of our portfolio. We are quite clear in our understanding of our position that we do not stand in the same league as one of the Global top five producers – however, we are also quite clear that our factory capabilities with bulk extraction, spray drying, compounding and packing mean that we can offer the same level of supply assurances with a similar level of production expertise.

With this in mind, we have identified where we are able to out-compete the big guns, and that is in our capability to assist customers in the reduction of their spend in top note flavours through matching their existing purchases and offering a greater level of MOQ flexibility to limit inventory expense.

Our process

Upon request from one of our customers to assist in rationalising their spend in Flavours, we will request a sample of the product that they currently purchase, and will also request data regarding the label declaration and preferred carrier system.

Upon receipt of the sample, the team will first put it onto our FTIR Spectrometer which is a means of logging the unique infrared spectrum (fingerprint) of the sample. This then enables the team to use the FTIR as a means of scoring their match work against the standard and also provides a reference for future QC testing.

Following FTIR registration, the team will then run the sample through the GCMS (Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer) to obtain a molecular “map” of the compound.

Meeting twice weekly, the team then assess the results for each flavour inbound for matching to assess the complexity of the material and assign the most efficient means for matching. Trained Flavourists will take the most complex items and technicians under their supervision will work through the remainder.

Like detectives, evaluating which compounds could actually represent a natural oil, or whether a compound is a reaction of two co-ingredients – the team will steadily work towards the creation of a similar profile of the product, using a combination of tastings, additional GCMS readings and FTIR tests to ascertain how close they are to the target.

A successful match will then be put forward to a tasting panel to blind test and confirm their agreement with the Flavourists that there is no difference between the two materials, then as a matter of good practice, both samples will be submitted to the Applications kitchen for cooking in the customer’s application to assure that the process does not impact upon our match.

Having invested heavily in people, infrastructure and technical equipment – Plant-Ex are now able to provide customers with a two week lead time for matching flavour samples. During Q3 2021 we have seen these projects removing up to 30% from some of our customer’s flavour spending. In a time when every raw material cost seems to be increasing – we’re happy to provide a glimmer of hope to some of our client’s beleaguered purchasing teams…..

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