Challenge: Finding the next generation toothpaste

NIZO developed a system and method for making an oral care formulation.

Have you ever been confronted with having to optimize the flavor (i.e. taste and smell) of one of your products? And having problems choosing which direction to go? The Colgate-Palmolive company did and decided to use NIZO for helping to solve their problem.

Colgate challenge:  finding the next generation toothpaste

The problem was simple: mint flavors are very important for freshness in toothpaste, but what would be the concepts for the next-generation; freshness 2.0?

To investigate this, multiple systems would need to be consumer tested which would require lots and lots of product development. This would be significantly complicated by the fact that consumers do not only care about the type of the flavor, but also its timely effect. Maybe the ideal toothpaste would first convince you that the brushing implies effective cleaning, next the aroma should kick in to reassure you that you indeed have a fresh breath and hypothetically the last stage could be a phase where you do take good care of your oral cavity that has just been confronted with heavy brushing.

All these concepts are extremely difficult to prototype if you cannot timely change the sensations during tooth brushing. And it was exactly this reason that this company addressed NIZO to look into this.

Patented research by Colgate and NIZO

The work that was done has been published in a pending patent application by Colgate-Palmolive and NIZO. This patent PCT/US2014/046925 covers the system and method for making an oral care formulation. This system is based on the use of an olfactometer in combination with a gustometer to deliver relevant stimuli to a person in situ. The olfactometer is an instrument to deliver an aroma to a person while consuming food or using an oral health product. The gustometer does the same for non-volatile compounds such as taste compounds, trigeminal  (pain as from mint, pepper of carbon dioxide) or astringency.

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Colgate-Palmolive is a global company serving people in over 200 countries and territories with consumer products that make their lives healthier and more enjoyable. Colgate manufactures and markets oral care, personal care, home care and pet nutrition products under internationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, Elmex and many more.