Fermentation for Flavors

Flavor perception is stimulated by a complex matrix of volatile and nonvolatile compounds with different physicochemical properties. It is often referred to as a complex multifactorial sense, arising from the interplay between the senses of smell (olfaction), taste (gustation) and touch. Although sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami are known as the five basic tastes in the gustatory process, other candidate tastes (metallic, fatty, starch) have also been proposed.

Fermentation for Flavors

Different strategies including chemical synthesis, microbial and enzymatic processes have been developed to produce taste compounds, mainly nucleotides or other umami substances and sweeteners. Many non-volatile flavor compounds produced by microbial or enzymatic processes (e.g. monosodium glutamate - MSG, acidulants, syrups) have established markets, while others are in development or just starting to come to market.

BOC Sciences has biotechnology pipeline for the production of flavor compounds in various microbial fermentation processes. By using powerful biocatalysts, optimized process conditions, and low-cost substrates, we have developed strategies for the microbial and enzymatic production of a range of flavor compounds, including acids, hydrocarbons, aldehydes, alcohols, ketones, esters, lactones , pyrazine, terpene, phenylpropane, etc.

Classification of flavor compounds on the basis of chemical structure.Fig 1. Classification of flavor compounds on the basis of chemical structure.[1]

Our Capabilities

Solid state fermentation

Solid-state fermentation (SSF) is defined as the growth of microorganisms in the absence of a free-flowing aqueous phase. We can use this technology to produce value-added products such as antibiotics, single-cell proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, enzymes, organic acids, biopesticides, biofuels and fragrances. Our commercial-scale bioreactor realizes the coupling of continuous fermentation and various operation links, reduces the steps of reactor cleaning and sterilization, avoids intermediate operations, has a high degree of automation, and has a wide range of applications.

Submerged fermentation

Submerged fermentation refers to the growth of microorganisms as a suspension in a liquid medium. We generally use two methods for submerged fermentation; they are fed-batch fermentation and continuous fermentation. Fed-batch fermentation helps increase cell density in the bioreactor and is usually highly concentrated to prevent dilution. The growth rate of the culture is maintained by adding nutrients, which also reduces the risk of metabolic spillover. Continuous fermentation is the slow, continuous addition of sterile liquid nutrient solution to the bioreactor at the same rate that the transformed nutrient solution is withdrawn from the system. This is beneficial to obtain a stable yield of fermentation broth.

The advantages of biotransformation or microbial fermentation to produce flavor substances are:

  1. The product obtained is natural;
  2. Due to the high specificity of the substrate and the reaction, the product can be guaranteed to have a definite chemical stereostructure;
  3. The optimization of reaction conditions can produce products with complex structures and consistent properties, and achieve a constant production rate;
  4. Multi-step reactions that cannot be accomplished by chemical methods in aqueous solution can be realized under mild conditions;
  5. In addition, this process is not affected by external environmental conditions such as climate, plant diseases and raw material trade.

BOC Sciences is committed to the fermentation of flavor compounds, providing customers with end-to-end fermentation engineering services such as raw material supply, process design, automation control, quality analysis, personnel training and after-sales service. Strong integration capabilities and diversified personalized services have formed our core advantages.

If you are interested in our fermentation services for flavors, please contact us today.


  1. Sharma A, et al. Prospecting the potential of agroresidues as substrate for microbial flavor production. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 2020 Feb 26;4:18.

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