“Clean Label” Ingredients for Flavor Enhancement

“Clean Label” Ingredients for Flavor Enhancement

The following is a case study of the work that was carried out by PreScouter for a Fortune 500 client in the food manufacturing industry.

About the Client:

The Client, a Fortune 500 leading food manufacturer, came to PreScouter seeking information around fermentation-based flavor enhancements. The Client’s interest was in response to the demands of consumers for “clean label” ingredients.


Clean label ingredients are naturally derived, simple and easy to pronounce ingredients. The Client was interested in incorporating flavors and flavor enhancers that are derived from fermentation. A comprehensive report on all possible fermentation-based ingredients was required to serve as a starting point for the Client’s R&D department to answer the demands of it’s consumers.


PreScouter started by assembling a multidisciplinary team of researchers with domain expertise in Food Science, Microbiology, Chemistry, and Biological Engineering. The Client provided technical specifications that had to be met. These specifications included a technology readiness level (TRL) range of 4-7, the ability to work in acid and high heat environments and it must be dissolvable. 

Over the course of two months, PreScouter’s team of industry experts examined hundreds of patents and technologies that met the Client’s need. Pathways explored included:

    • Flavors or flavor enhancers that are produced by one or more of a variety of cultures (such as bacteria, algae or yeast) on a variety of substrates (dairy and non-dairy).
    • Protein-rich substrates/bases and enzymes that can assist the fermentation process for making these flavors (e.g. modifying the substrate, lysing culture cells).

What PreScouter found:

After two months of extensive research, PreScouter identified 37 technologies and 11 patents that met all of the Client’s technical specifications.

PreScouter and the client developed a top 3 list of technologies in order to interview the sources further. These interviews provided firsthand information on the technical advantages/limitations of each technology and their commercialization potential.

Client’s feedback:

PreScouter delivered exactly what the Client was looking for. The Client valued the report highly as it saved them both time and money. The Client used this information to help plan out which fermentation methods they would test internally.

If you have any questions or would like to know if we can help you with your innovation challenge, please contact our Food and Beverage lead, Corey Katz at ckatz@prescouter.com.

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