The Flavor Research and Education Center (FREC) is an academic-industry partnership focused on the development of innovative solutions in the food flavor market space. Our utility-inspired approach to fundamental research enables learning that drives business results. We bring companies together to provide insight and solutions to common industry challenges, providing competitive advantages for our members. FREC is structured to spread the cost of research across many different companies. However, each member can also pursue independent projects that fulfill unique business needs with proprietary solutions.
How does it work?
FREC members vote to fund two Center research projects each autumn at our annual meeting. The project duration is typically three years, equating to a minimum of six projects running simultaneously. For new project selection, each member company is solicited annually for three project ideas that are collected, further developed by FREC, and submitted back to the membership for review to establish industrial relevance. Currently, there are >10 Center research projects on-going that include a breadth of research topics. Project examples include characterizing molecular drivers of food acceptance, identifying flavor stimuli (taste, aroma, somatosensory-mouthfeel), defining precursors and pathways of flavor development, developing new methods of flavor characterization based on state-of-the-art untargeted chemical fingerprinting analytical techniques (flavoromics), defining mechanisms of flavor instability, and defining taste-aroma interactions.
Two membership levels are available, Full and Associate. Eligibility for Associate level membership comprises companies that have less than $40 million in annual gross revenue.
- A precompetitive research platform to increase ROI and foster innovation
- Ability to partner one-on-one for proprietary solutions
- Non-exclusive, royalty-free (NERF) license options
- 6 patent applications have been submitted to date
- Complimentary registration to FREC annual meeting (2 attendees)
- Biannual research updates
- Access to a network of experts and state-of-the-art instrumentation
- Discounted analytical services and continuing education courses
- Targeted recruitment of the next generation of flavor chemists