The launch of Renessenz’s (Jacksonville, Florida) sensory applications center in Chicago is changing the relationship it has with
clients. This new capability extends the company’s focus from
the manufacture of aromatic ingredients, functional ingredients
and cooling agents derived from natural, renewable sources,
to the application of those ingredients in clients’ flavor, food,
beverage, oral care and personal care systems.
The move allows the company “to be an expert in our own
ingredients and how they work in our customers’ finished products,” says Eric Beatty, president and general manager. Directly
engaged with customers, the sensory applications team is able to
answer questions and offer consultations on how ingredients are
applied during the product development process, in addition to
providing prototyping. At the same time, Renessenz is learning
how customers develop products and how its ingredients are
applied in a real-world environment, as well as identifying new
applications for its coolants, including beverages.
The company has spent the last year building out its sensory
capabilities, says Theodore Butz, president and CEO of Pinova
Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Renessenz and Pinova.
(The company recently realigned its business unit structure
toward three market-facing businesses. In addition to the
sensory ingredients business, the company also features a fragrance ingredients business that manufactures terpene-based
aroma chemicals for household goods, personal care and fine
fragrances, and a performance specialties unit that markets
resins to the adhesives, construction, tire and agriculture
markets. The combined businesses have sales of more than
$300 million, according to Pinova Holdings.) The organization
of the company, in addition to the formation of the sensory
applications team, signals a change in its go-to-market strategy,
says Butz, expanding beyond its existing expertise in chemistry
Customer Innovation Needs
In the current phase, the sensory applications group is exploring how its existing ingredients and technology can be used in
products, but moving forward Butz anticipates the incorporation
of niche technologies based on customer needs, as well as expansion of sensory activities to key global markets such as Asia. At
Site Visit: Renessenz Launches Sensory Applications Center
the same time, he says there are additional functionalities for
some of the company’s ingredients beyond cooling, such as flavor
modification, which could create new avenues of application.
Flavor, cosmetic and consumer product clients often have
applications needs, a service not always provided by ingredient
suppliers, says Beatty. Combining a technical understanding of
the chemistry of materials and their application plugs a resource
gap for customers, who are starved for ideas.
Supported by sensory applications, customers are able to
address issues directly with the supplier, customize solutions
and be “a first mover” in their markets, according to Butz.
Knowledge gained from further understanding of the functionality of products Renessenz produces is also helping the
company to invigorate its innovation activities. This, according to sensory ingredients business director, Steve Pringle, is
something which is vital to the medium- and long-term growth
of the business.
“The work in confectionery and beverage has allowed us to
understand the requirements for future and current product
demands,” says Pringle. “This has allowed Renessenz to engage
in collaborative work with companies with enabling technologies
which then allow us to meet the needs of an evolving market, as
well as develop new materials in the sensory space.”
A Tour of the Lab
During a recent visit to the sensory applications center, P&F
met with David Sitko, Renessenz’s applications manager, who
has experience in both the flavor and confectionery sectors,
and Christine Jakes, applications technician. Sitko and Jakes
provided a tour of the space, which includes a reception area,
large conference room and office space, in addition the sensory
All applications systems behave differently. For instance, a coolant dosage for a
gummy candy may vary significantly compared to a beverage, in part due to the
total volume intake of one product versus the other.
The launch of Renessenz’s (Jacksonville, Florida) sensory applications center
in Chicago has changed its client relationships by expanding its focus on the
manufacture of aromatic ingredients and cooling agents from natural, renewable
sources, to the application of those ingredients in clients’ flavor, food, beverage,
oral care and cosmetics systems.