UF researchers share expertise at prestigious AAAS meeting in Boston

Published: February 13th, 2013

Category: Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two University of Florida scientists will share their research on a natural way to sweeten foods with colleagues and journalists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting this week in Boston.

Harry Klee, of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Linda Bartoshuk, of UF’s College of Dentistry, have been asked to meet with journalists Thursday morning.

On Friday, they are featured speakers for an animal, plant and food sciences symposium called: ‘Fixing the Broken Tomato: What We Like and Why We Like It.”

Along with Valerie Duffy, a professor of allied health sciences at the University of Connecticut, Klee and Bartoshuk will discuss a UF research team’s discovery of a group of naturally occurring compounds that enhance the way people perceive sweetness and saltiness. The pair believes the findings could become a roadmap to help improve diets, by making healthful foods taste sweeter using less sugar and no artificial sweetener. Julie Mennella of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia will moderate the discussion.

UF technology licensing officials are looking for companies interested in finding ways to turn the researchers’ findings about flavor into a commercially viable product that can be used to sweeten foods and beverages in a natural, more healthful way.

The natural sweetener discovery was made during the group’s work, led by Klee, to break down the chemistry behind the complex flavors in tomato. Klee and Bartoshuk have collaborated often with UF/IFAS scientists Charles Sims and David Clark.

One of the world’s best-known scientific gatherings, the AAAS meeting this year has as its theme “The Beauty and Benefits of Science.”

Members of the media who register in advance may log onto a live webcast page to view the Thursday press briefing. Details can be found here: http://www.eurekalert.org/aaasnewsroom/2013/page.php?page=webcasts.

Credits

Writer
Mickie Anderson, mickiea@ufl.edu

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