I can't believe it's not bitter... that's the reaction of researchers who have been testing methods to make medication a bit easier to swallow.
A high-tech sugar supplement was introduced to experts at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Designed as a "bitterness blocker", the substance can be used in medicine or as an alternative to sweeteners, including saccharin and sucralose, which contain ingredients that many people are allergic too.
Instead of hiding unpleasant tastes, chemists, molecular biologists and other scientists are developing ways to change how the tongue senses tastes.
Research scientist with Givaudan Flavors Corporation discovered the first commercially feasible substance capable of blocking bitter taste in humans. Called GIV3727, it works by blocking taste receptors on the tongue.
The new compound is said to be more potent and can dissolve more quickly in foods and beverages.
"It works at levels on the order of parts per million and blocks flavours using 10 times less material than what was needed previously,” the report said.
The discovery of compounds like GIV3727 and GIV3616 is part of an ongoing revolution in research on flavours and taste sensitivity in the mouth.