LSU researchers develop ‘bitter blocker’

Parents could find it easier to persuade their children to eat vegetables, and coaches could find it easier to rehydrate their athletes if a new discovery from the LSU AgCenter Department of Food Science makes it way into the marketplace.

“We call it a bitter blocker,” said AgCenter researcher and food science department head John Finley, who developed the material with graduate student Darryl Holliday.

The substance can mask bitter and astringent flavors in foods and allow the addition of ingredients such as glycerine, ethanol and potassium salts without hindering the taste.

The discovery came about on a hunch, Finley said.

“Earlier work with aspartame blocked bitterness in soy products, so we thought we could get similar results with mogroside V — an intense sweetener derived from plant sources.”

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