Opertech's Pioneering Approach
Sensory Technology Universal to All Species
Opertech has created an entirely new technology platform for sensory measurement, called Microtiter Operant Gustometer (MOG).
Before MOG, taste testing required many subjects, large amounts of test samples, and days to weeks for evaluation of only a few samples - all adding up to extensive expenditures in resources and dollars. MOG accomplishes the task on hundreds of samples in an afternoon, using far fewer subjects and much less sample, at a fraction of the cost and with greater accuracy and consistency than previously possible.
The MOG technology platform is the first of its kind, spawning a series of automated high throughput systems for rapid characterization of taste sensory properties. The principles underlying the effectiveness of our taste-testing technology now also are the basis for our new initiative in creating a similar approach to measurement of olfaction.
Each MOG system is designed for specific applications to attain a broad range of commercial and research objectives for our clients across all industries where flavor and fragrance are the focus.
Current Taste Testing Across the World
Although scientific understanding of taste biology has advanced dramatically in recent years, taste testing methods have remained essentially unchanged over the last century. Human taste panels typically are composed of 20 to 60 participants and require large quantities of compounds, ingredients or formulations to carry out a taste evaluation. Never the less only a few samples can be evaluated per test, which might take an entire day or more to conduct, and results can be unreliable given the many factors that influence a person’s daily subjective experience of taste.
The MOG Technology Platform
The MOG technology platform is a ground-breaking approach to the quantification of sensory characteristics of novel compounds, flavor ingredients, or new formulations that surpasses the shortcomings of traditional taste testing. All models of the MOG system operate under a common set of unique principles:
Automation: Every aspect of the MOG system is automated—sample delivery, recording a subject’s responses, data storage and analysis—minimizing the variability and mistakes due to manual operations that normally occur in traditional taste tests.
High Throughput: The MOG is the first high throughput taste evaluation system, with a capacity for evaluating hundreds of samples in a day. Sample volumes typically are less than a milliliter, minimizing the costs of ingredients needed for testing.
Data-driven Process: The high throughput nature of MOG systems enables the rapid generation of large, robust datasets. As a result, only a few subjects are needed for any given test. Each MOG system automatically moves the data from all tests, along with subject variables and details on samples and test protocols, into a database where it can subsequently be mined and analyzed through directed queries.
Objective Measurement: All MOG systems are designed for objective measurement of taste—no subjective ranking scales or verbal reports.
Experimental Flexibility: All MOG systems are designed to accommodate as many configurations of experimental design as possible. The new TāStation™ is the most advanced in this respect, with its capacity to simultaneously measure multiple dimensions of taste properties.
MOG systems are in operation or are being developed for use with different species to meet the various needs of our clientele.
The TāStation® System — Fully automated units used for human taste evaluation studies. TāStation technology dramatically reduces the expenditure of resources in time and costs associated with traditional human taste panels.
The Rat MOG (rMOG) — Particularly useful for determining the taste properties of compounds not yet approved for human use. Rats are opportunistic omnivores whose food preferences evolved side-by-side with those of humans and therefore are excellent surrogate subjects.
The Cat MOG (cMOG) — MOG systems for companion animals are under development that will enhance the pace of ingredient discovery and optimization of formulations in the pet food industry.
Quantifies multiple taste dimensions
Tastant discovery—any taste system
Flavor formulation optimization
Small quantities of test compound required
Enables testing of blends, mixtures, and natural products
Particularly useful for revealing synergistic combinations of ingredients
Throughput of hundreds of test samples per day
Four subjects (human or animal) per cohort
Once trained, individual subjects (human or animal) can be tested again and again over weeks, months or years.