Meet Antoine Thomas, Biospringer’s Flavor Development Manager

Meet Antoine Thomas, Biospringer’s Flavor Development Manager

Biospringer is an historical key player and a global producer of yeast extracts which are commonly used by many professionals in the Food industry as a natural aromatic ingredient. Antoine THOMAS, Flavor Development Manager, attests to the Biospringer expertise. In this first episode, he defines what is sensory evaluation.


Flavor development at Biospringer

The departement of Flavor Development is part of our central Research & Development department based in Maisons-Alfort. Our Flavor development team works every day to develop and characterize the products which match our customer’s current and future needs. It goes from scientific physiological studies on taste and flavors to formulation, analytics and sensory panels. Sensory evaluation is a significant part of our daily mission.

What is sensory evaluation ?

Sensory evaluation is a scientific discipline that applies experimental design and statistical analysis with the use of human senses for the purpose of evaluating products. It is used in many fields like sport items, car industry, sensory marketing and of course food industry. The major goal of sensory evaluation is to explain and describe perceived sensations, understand individual variabilities using the 5 senses.

In this second episode, Antoine Thomas explains the sensory evaluation methodology to describe yeast ingredients.

Which senses do you specifically work on?

At Biospringer we work on two major senses: taste and olfaction. Taste is related to the sensation produced when a chemical compound reacts in your mouth with your taste receptor cells, related to your oral cavity, mostly on your tongue. There are five basic official tastes today: salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami. Odor is linked to the volatile compound you can feel through ortho and retro-olfaction. There is an infinity of flavors like chicken, vanilla or smoked.

How do you describe natural yeast products?

It is not easy to describe yeast products. For that purpose, we developed a specific internal tool called Biospringer Sensory Box. It is a list of 33 descriptors divided into 8 families. We use this sensory box to train our expert panel but also to discuss between all our regions to have the same sensory language around the world.

In this third and final video, Antoine Thomas describes the type of sensory panels.

Sensory panels at Biospringer

We have different panels for different needs.
First, we have our daily quality control panel linked to each factory. The goal is to release new batches through tasting sessions. Then for basic studies we have our initiated panel. This is our largest panel with between 30 to 50 people. We can conduct for example triangle tests and say if two products are similar or different.
For more complex studies like sensory mapping, we have our qualified panel. It involves specific training for almost 15 people.
Then for very complex studies, like profiling or temporality, we have our expert panel. Expert panellists – almost 25 people – have been trained for 20 hours and are able to qualify and quantify yeast products. Of course, all of our panels follow the specific ISO norms.

Lesaffre Sensory Team

Within Lesaffre group we have several business units using sensory evaluation as an essential human measurement tool. To be able to innovate, watch and understand the new possibilities of sensory analysis, we built Lesaffre Sensory Team which is a group of people from Lesaffre Baking Center, Fermentis, Ennolys and Biospringer. We get together several times a year to discuss technical subjects and experiences. Of course we also participate in external events like E3S symposiums, Senseasia, Pangborn or Eurosense. In this way Flavor Development team has all the tools necessary to constantly innovate and look towards the future.