Dollars and scents: commercial opportunities in olfaction and taste

Nat Neurosci. 2002 Nov:5 Suppl:1043-5. doi: 10.1038/nn937.


Research successes over the past decade have provided a broad outline of the neuroscience of olfaction and taste. Our understanding of these systems now spans the molecular to the psychological. It will soon reach critical mass and begin to generate a variety of practical applications with commercial potential. Given the ubiquity of smell and taste and their importance to health, nutrition and quality of life, these applications could have a major impact on consumer product markets and create entirely new ones. Sensory biotechnology could be the first post-genomic application to break through to the consumer market. We describe odor modulation technologies with implications for food intake, health care and other arenas. Our deeper understanding of olfaction and taste in animal behavior and reproduction provides opportunities in pest control and animal husbandry, where environmentally neutral interventions are much in demand.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Biotechnology / economics*
  • Biotechnology / trends*
  • Drug Design*
  • Humans
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Pest Control, Biological / trends
  • Smell / drug effects*
  • Smell / physiology
  • Taste / drug effects*
  • Taste / physiology
  • Technology Transfer*