Fundamental Sciences

Our team members’ chemistry and physics expertise provides a formidable foundation for the development of Flavor & Fragrance ingredients and technologies.

The synthesis and delivery of differentiating flavors and perfumes is enabled by Firmenich’s state-of-the-art methodologies in green chemistry, catalysis, colloid chemistry and polymer physics.

At the heart of what we do, analytical thinking and scientific expertise are fully integrated into the value chain of our business. Fundamental science is applied from the conception of ingredients to the delivery of benefits to our customers and consumers.

TRANSFORMING SIMPLE BUILDING BLOCKS INTO INNOVATIVE FLAVOR AND FRAGRANCE MOLECULES

The role of our organic chemists is to transform simple, inodorous building blocks into innovative fragrance and flavor molecules. Through a deep understanding of structure-odor relationships, our chemists construct novel ingredients that continuously capture the creative minds of our perfumers and flavorists. A walk through our chemistry labs takes you from a field of lavender to the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

Following the principles of green chemistry, we aim to manufacture our ingredients in a sustainable fashion. Towards this end, we have at our disposal a chemical development toolkit that contains the most recent advances in chemical methodologies, homogenous catalysis, continuous processing as well as innovative distillation technologies. This allows us to develop proprietary industrial processes that produce our signature ingredients at optimal performance and cost, with a minimal environmental impact.

INNOVATING IN CHEMICAL ANALYSIS TO ENABLE EXCELLENCE IN FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES

Innovation in chemical analysis plays an important role in the development and commercialization of new, safe, performing and sustainable flavors and fragrances.
Firmenich uses state-of-the-art analytical methods and cutting-edge instruments to discover new molecules from nature, chemical and biochemical reactions. This inspires our flavorists and perfumers to create new tonalities, taste modulators and fragrances that set marketplace trends.
We investigate the structure of delivery systems and study their behavior to optimize flavors in foods and fragrances in perfumery applications to bring freshness, impact and sensory character at the right moment to foods, beverages, body care and home care consumer products.
Firmenich ensures that our products are safe and compliant with worldwide regulations, including Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), by designing and validating new analytical methods allowing the identification and quantification of restricted chemicals.
Analytical knowledge and expertise are therefore fundamental tools, fully integrated into the value chain of our business from the conception of ingredients to the delivery of benefits to our customers and consumers.

DIFFERENTIATED ADVANCED SOLUTIONS FOR HIGH-PERFORMANCE DELIVERY SYSTEMS

We develop physical methodologies to assess flavor and fragrance performance in food, body care and home care products, and we design novel flavor and fragrance delivery systems addressing specific customer needs. Our bio-inspired design philosophy combines principles of molecular self-assembly with soft water based chemistry to develop differentiating products.

The trend in perfumery technologies is towards biocompatible delivery systems for Body Care with enhanced deposition on hair and skin in wash-off applications or with functional benefits in the case of leave-on products. Clever triggers are explored to deliver fragrance release on demand. Body Care systems are formulated with natural surfactants providing enhanced bloom, mesoporous materials are developed to suppress malodor physically, and designer polymers are investigated to optimize air-care devices.

The trend in flavor technologies is also towards all-natural delivery systems formulated with biopolymers and minerals enhancing the health benefit of our products. Our range of water-triggered systems is being extended to enteric carriers able to mask the bitterness of nutraceuticals, solubilizing systems for poorly soluble taste modifiers or bicontinuous systems able to integrate water and oil soluble food ingredients. Our expertise in food physics is further leveraged to develop the tribo-rheological tools needed to track the effect of formulation on the texture of food ingredients.

SO HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK? LOOKING DEEPER INTO THE SCIENCE

Physical chemistry provides the scientific background needed to master the performance of flavor & fragrance ingredients in foods and beverages as well as in home and body care products. It is leveraged in materials science research to develop flavor and fragrance delivery systems providing smell and taste at the right moment.
Flavor delivery technologies
Flavor delivery technologies are developed to enhance the freshness and the authenticity of our ingredients until consumption.

Our most successful delivery systems used in food and beverages include dry flavor powders (Flexarome®) dissolving readily in water, and emulsions (Solessence®) able to disperse flavors in beverages.
Fragrance delivery technologies
Fragrance delivery technologies are developed to enhance the impact and the lastingness of our ingredients, more particularly in applications involving washing or rinsing.

Our most successful delivery systems include perfume microcapsules (PopScent®) and precursors (HaloScent®) which provide the moments of emotional connection and pleasantness that consumers associate with their favorite brands.
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