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Our progress and achievements towards "the Lactone House of the World" 世界のラクトンハウス」への歩みと取り組み

Lactone can be taken as the symbol of the flavor of dairy products.  In the development of lactones, Soda Aromatic has extensive know-how and experience, and it has been referred to as "the Lactone House of the world". Let us introduce the various products of our lactones together with the long history as to how we have developed and industrialized our lactones.


The 2 bestsellers

 The modern dietary life has been secretly supported by aroma chemicals. We have started the production of aroma chemicals since the 1930s, and have produced a number of specialties (original products).

The first has been ionone. We have succeeded for the first time in the world at the mass production of ionone, and sent out our ionone to the global market.

We developed γ-lactones in 1959 and δ-lactones in 1960, and succeeded in their industrialization. Due to such accomplishments ahead of other producers, our γ-lactones and δ-lactones have even now a lot of customers all over the world, and they are now widely used as a flavor raw material. It can safely be said that these two best-sellers are the representatives of aroma chemicals made by Soda Aromatic.

Since then the challenge continued to develop the aroma chemicals without any disruption. In 1971 Milk Lactone (Note 1) was developed, in 1981Sugar Lactone® (Note 2), and in 1985 FEMA grade Milk Lactone (Note 3) was also developed, which is an upgraded new version of Milk Lactone.

Strictly speaking, Milk Lactone is not a lactone, and close to lactone structure. Based on our technology used in the development of lactones, it became possible to manufacture them. They are both long sellers of Soda Aromatics that continue to be manufactured and sold even now.

 現代の食生活を陰ながら支えている合成香料。曽田香料では、1930年代から合成香料の製造を開始し、数多くのスペシャリティ(独自製品)を生み出してきました。 そのスタートはヨノン(Ionone)。日本はもちろん世界でもはじめてヨノンの量産化に成功し、世に送り出したのです。 1959年にはγラクトン類を、翌1960年にはδラクトン類を開発し、工業化に成功しました。同業他社に先駆けて工業化を実現したため、γ-ラクトン類とδ-ラクトン類は世界中にたくさんの顧客を持ち、いまもフレーバー原料として広く使われています。この2つのベストセラーは、曽田香料が作る合成香料の代表格といっても差し支えありません。 その後も曽田香料の合成香料開発への挑戦は続きます。


 Lactones in natural products

Even though we call them all lactones, they differ in smell depending on their structure. From fruit to liquor, it is included in a wide range of natural food.

It is present not only in dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese, but also in fruit such as peach, papaya, pineapple, and melons, in meat such as beef and chicken, in coconut oil and wine, and even in mushrooms and tomatoes, black and green tea. If you say lactone it often brings up the image of dairy products, but in fact it is a component that is present in this wide variety of natural products.

 一口にラクトンといっても、その構造によって香りはさまざま。果物からお酒まで、幅広い天然の食品に含まれています。ミルク、バター、チーズといった乳製品はもちろん、ピーチやパパイヤ、パイナップル、メロンなどの果物、ビーフやチキンなどの肉類、ココナッツ油やワイン、さらには椎茸やトマト、紅茶、緑茶といった食品にも存在しています。 ラクトンというと乳製品をイメージされることが多いのですが、実はこれだけ多種多様な天然物の中に存在している香り成分なのです。

Assorted aromas from dried grass to peach, nuts or butter

As a unique characteristic of lactones, its aroma will change completely according to the amount of carbon and the presence or absence of a double bond. Here we will introduce how the aroma of γ-lactones and δ-lactones change.

In the case of γ-lactones, γ-valerolactone, where the number of carbons is five, has the aroma of dried grass and tobacco, but when it comes to the γ-hexalactone with an increased number of carbons, it exhibits an aroma of coumarin. The coumarin, representative of sweets savored in the season of cherry blossoms, is a unique aroma component of the cherry tree leaf that is used in sakuramochi. That fluffy flavor spreading in your mouth when you eat sakuramochi, that is coumarin.

When the number of carbons is further increased, it becomes coconut-like, and then eventually changes to peach flavor. γ-dodecalactone, which has 12 carbons, rather than the flavor of peach, it has an aroma close to the rich feel on the tongue when you eat a peach.

On the other hand, among δ-lactones there is the δ-hexalactone with 6 carbons, which has the aroma of gorgeous almond, but if the number of carbons comes to 8, it shifts to a coconut flavor, and if the number of carbons is 10, it becomes a milky flavor. If we increase the number of carbons even more, the aroma becomes creamy, and if the number of carbons is 13 or more, the creamy flavor becomes fatty. The scent itself is weak, but the aroma suggests a natural creaminess.





Extensive know-how of specialties

 Soda Aromatic has developed about 100 types of lactones. We have found many different uses for these types of lactones, and we have created flavors with a wide variety of applications. Among them, Soda Aromatic excels in the development of the dairy flavors. So far we have developed a number of milk flavors and butter flavors, and we have accumulated the know-how. Most of the leading dairy companies in Japan use the flavors of Soda Aromatic, and thereby we are assisting their high-quality craftsmanship.

Considering changes in processing technology such as sterilization, changes in consumer preferences, and also with consideration to external change, the big advantage of Soda Aromatic is the accumulation of valuable specialty flavors working together with our customers.

Soda Aromatic will continue the unchanged efforts on research and development towards the future. Please look forward to the further progress of our lactones.

Note 1Milk LactoneMixtures of 5-and 6-Decenoic acid and 6-(5-and 6- Decenoyloxy)decanoic acid

Note 2Sugar Lactone®3-Hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2(5H)-furanone

Note 3FEMA grade Milk LactoneMixtures of 5-and 6-Decenoic acid




注1)ミルクラクトン:Mixtures of 5-and 6-Decenoic acid and 6-(5-and 6-Decenoyloxy)decanoic acid


(注3)ミルクラクトンFEMAグレード:Mixtures of 5-and 6-Decenoic acid