Press Releases

Food industry get a taste of Uni Flavour Centre – University of Reading

Release Date : 23 October 2009

Over 50 food industry experts visited the University of Reading recently, to sample what's on offer at its Flavour Centre.

This unique business focused unit provides analytical services, consultancy and contract research to clients in the food and flavour industries.

Visitors heard about the role of flavour chemistry from a variety of speakers. The afternoon began with a keynote speech by Tony Blake, a world authority on flavour and taste. Tony has worked in research, development and marketing for major food companies and recently collaborated with celebrated chef, Heston Blumenthal.

Industry speakers including Dave Baines, President of the British Society of Flavourists, discussed their exciting applications in flavour science. The University's Professor Don Mottram gave the closing speech focusing on umami, the fifth taste, as an example of the expertise and services the Flavour Centre provides.

The Flavour Centre was established in 2008 to provide the food industry with an understanding of the fundamental chemistry that lies beneath the flavours in the products it creates. This understanding is the foundation from which new products can be developed, and flavours enhanced and controlled. The challenge of maintaining and maximising flavour is becoming increasingly important as consumers seek healthy, convenient products which must also taste good.

"This event for the food industry was an exciting opportunity to hear about the latest developments in flavour chemistry," said Jane Parker, Manager of the Flavour Centre. "The importance of flavour in sensory perception and the perceived quality of food is well recognised and the Flavour Centre is delighted to have attracted so many leading experts in the field to the University for this event. Attendees enjoyed an increased understanding of the complex chemistry that underpins flavour science, and how the Flavour Centre can provide services to benefit their company's product development."


For all University of Reading media enquiries please contact James Barr, Press Officer tel 0118 378 7115 or email

Note to Editors:

The Flavour Centre is a consultancy and services unit at the University of Reading, providing high quality services to industry. Services include flavour consultancy, contract research, analytical services, training courses and continuing professional development and access to knowledge transfer funding schemes. For more information please visit the website:

Don Mottram heads the Flavour Research Group at Reading, which is acknowledged to be one of the world's leading centres in the subject. He has strong links with industry and has extensive experience in the chemistry and biochemistry of flavour formation in a wide range of food and drinks. Particular expertise in the Maillard reaction has been widely recognised and he played a leading role in the worldwide investigation into the formation of acrylamide in heated foods.

Find out more about Don's work by visiting his staff profile on the Department of Food Biosciences website:

Umami is one of the five generally recognised basic tastes sensed by specialised receptor cells present on the human tongue. Umami derives from Japanese, meaning "tasty", "brothy", "meaty" or "savoury".


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