It has long been the goal of formulators and flavorists to cover or mask unpleasant tastes arising from active ingredients incorporated in oral hygiene products. The positive effects of these actives were often overpowered by the negative taste effects experienced by the user.
Zinc, for example, while possessing excellent germicidal activity and the ability to freshen breath, has a strong metallic taste accompanied by astringency (a drying of the mouth). Thymol provides antimicrobial activity but it is associated with a harsh taste or burn sensation.
Heretofore, attempts were made to cover these negative attributes by flavor variations, combinations of different sweeteners, and use of other possible masking agents. However, these attempts either failed or brought negatives of their own.
This article reports on a different technique: a method to block the taste receptors with a hydrogenated, ethoxylated glycol ester. The taste receptor blocker was tested by flavor panels and antimicrobial challenge. Then it was formulated with a flavor system into a mouth rinse that was also tested by a flavor panel.