The Art and Science of Taste Masking

Many drug actives are bitter, some intensely so. A common reaction is to add a flavor to the formulation in an attempt to mask its bitterness – orange, grape, mint. This approach, however is never successful owing to differences in human anatomy and physiology.

Bitter – along with sweet, sour, and salty – are perceived by taste buds on the tongue. Orange, grape, mint and all other flavors are comprised of aroma chemicals that are perceived via the sense of smell. Just like the sense of sight has no impact on hearing, flavors (smell) cannot mask bitterness (taste).

The only way to reduce bitterness is by balancing with the complementary tastes – sweet, sour and salty – via the mechanism of taste/taste interaction, the foundational principle of taste masking.

Once the bitterness has been reduced, identifying flavors such as orange, grape or mint can be selected based on compatibility with the drug active and excipients, patient demographics, as well as dosing frequency and other quality of life factors.

This is the art and science of taste masking – a field that Senopsys continues to pioneer.


The Senopsys FlavorOpt Taste Masking System

Our team developed Senopsys’ FlavorOpt Taste Masking System based on decades of experience in the highly competitive food industry, where taste is the key market success factor. FlavorOpt is a structured, sensory-directed system for developing palatable, taste-masked drug products – liquids, powders and solids.

The FlavorOpt Taste Masking System integrates:

  • Formulation design by our scientists, who are experts in the art and science of taste masking and knowledgeable in excipient functionality, taste modulation and processing technology
  • Rapid formulation prototyping in our fully-equipped laboratories, which are registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Prototype taste assessment performed by a team of sensory scientists with extensive experience evaluating investigational and approved drugs across a wide range of dosage forms and therapeutic classes
  • Robust analytic tools to analyze and interpret results and provide guidance to rapidly optimize formulations.

The results of the FlavorOpt Taste Masking System are palatable formulations suitable for clinical and commercial development.

Explore the Art and Science of Taste Masking

We invite you to explore the art and science of taste masking by viewing a recent case study or downloading our white paper.

Dedicated to Developing Palatable Drug Products

Senopsys is the taste-masking development partner of choice for 15 of the top 25 global pharma companies as well as dozens of emerging and mid-size pharma and biotech companies.

Ask us questions, inquire about our services or schedule a “lunch and learn” seminar about the art and science of taste masking.