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Bitterness Masking Innovations

Updated: September 23, 2023
Written by: Jonah Reider

Caffeine is one of the most commonly consumed psychoactive substances in the world and is found in many food and beverage products, including coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks.

While caffeine has several beneficial effects, such as increased alertness and reduced fatigue, research shows that caffeine is one of the most bitter substances in the world, with a bitterness threshold of about 10 millimoles per liter. This bitterness is due to the activation of taste receptors on the tongue, particularly the TAS2R43 receptor, which is responsible for detecting bitter flavors.

Challenges of Caffeine Bitterness


Before Pzaz, the bitter taste of caffeine had been a significant challenge for the food and beverage industry, particularly for energy drinks and shots, which often contain high amounts of caffeine and other bitter compounds. In an attempt to mask the bitter taste, producers of these drinks often add large amounts of sugar, acid, and artificial flavorings, which can lead to unhealthy products with unpleasant taste profiles.

Innovation with Pzaz

Only the Pzaz team has created a caffeine super-solution and then completely masked its bitterness using natural flavors.

Bitterness masking is a technique used in flavor science to reduce or eliminate the unpleasant bitter taste of certain compounds in food and beverages. It involves using other taste compounds, known as masking agents, to cover up the bitter taste of the offending compound.

Just as noise cancelling headphones use sound waves to cancel out background noise, masking agents use taste compounds to cancel out the bitter taste.

In noise cancelling headphones, a microphone picks up the surrounding sounds and then generates an "anti-noise" signal, which is played through the headphones. The anti-noise signal is designed to be the exact opposite of the original sound wave, effectively cancelling out the noise.

Similarly, in bitterness masking, taste compounds are carefully selected to counteract the bitter compounds and neutralize their unpleasant taste. One extremely basic example is how sweetness and sourness can be used to begin to mask the bitterness of caffeine, making it more palatable.

Just as noise cancelling headphones can be adjusted to cancel out different types of sounds, bitterness masking can be tailored to specific compounds and individual taste preferences. By understanding the science behind bitterness masking, flavor scientists can develop more effective and appealing products that are more enjoyable to consume.

If you're interested in learning more, check out:

  1. Green, B. G. (2016). Bitterness in taste: mechanisms and central coding. Clinical Nutrition Experimental, 10, 14-20.
    This article provides an overview of the mechanisms underlying bitter taste perception and the different approaches used to reduce bitterness in food and beverages, including bitterness masking.

  2. Zhang, S., Chen, X., Wu, J., & Su, X. (2020). Bitterness masking strategies: a review on recent advances and future prospects. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 96, 95-107.
    This review article discusses the different strategies for bitterness masking in food and beverages, including the use of taste compounds, such as sweeteners, acids, and umami compounds, and other techniques, such as encapsulation and enzymatic modification.

  3. O'Mahony, M., & Sweeney, T. (2019). Bitterness in milk proteins: underlying mechanisms and applications for the food industry. Food Research International, 126, 108593.
    This article focuses on the bitter taste of milk proteins and the strategies used to mask it in dairy products. It provides a detailed explanation of the mechanisms of bitterness perception and the different taste compounds that can be used to reduce or eliminate the bitterness.

  4. Heckman MA, Weil J, Gonzalez de Mejia E. Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) in foods: a comprehensive review on consumption, functionality, safety, and regulatory matters. J Food Sci. 2010 Apr;75(3):R77-87.

  5. Goldstein ER, Ziegenfuss T, Kalman D, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jan 27;7(1):5.

  6. Bhumika SR, Shetty PK, Hegde G, et al. Bitter taste receptors and their implications for caffeine tolerance. J Oral











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With 70 refreshing sprays and 180mg of caffeine energy, Pzaz is the most convenient and controlled way to power up.

Access superior oral and mental health with our zero calorie blend of icy fresh peppermint extract, electrolytes, vitamins, and caffeine.

180mg of caffeine per bottle spread across 70 refreshing sprays.

Instantly fresh breath

Zero calorie caffeine

Use as needed with no crash

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0 Calories
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0g Sugar
Vitamin C
  • How does Pzaz fix bad breath?

    Pzaz uses extra strong peppermint extract to instantly eliminate odors on your tongue and mouth, helping to kill germs and bacteria that cause tooth decay and plaque.

  • What are the ingredients?

    Pzaz contains zero calories and is sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

    Active ingredients: caffeine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, electrolytes.

    Inactive ingredients: water, peppermint and other natural flavors, citric acid, menthol, sucralose and potassium sorbate (for freshness).

  • Why put caffeine in a breath spray?

    By using caffeine in small bursts throughout the day, you can feel energized and focused with no crash, no jitters, and less trouble getting to sleep.

    One bottle of Pzaz (70 sprays) contains 180 mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of about two large cups of coffee.

    Use three sprays at a time to control your energy all day long without feeling the side effects of excessive caffeine use.

  • How much should I use?

    Enjoy three sprays at a time for a light pick-me-up whenever you’re feeling sluggish, tired, or unfocused.

  • What makes Pzaz a healthy choice?

    Keep Pzaz in your pocket as a healthier, zero-calorie alternative to gum, mints, candy, energy drinks, coffee, soda, and more.

4.8 / 5 (780 Reviews)

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Paris H.

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I can honestly say this is the best thing yet! For times where trying to make coffee is such a hassle or even when you just need a little boost, this is the product to get it! I get tired throughout the day, so I spray for a pick me up and I feel amazing. I also love how it has vitamins which it’s necessary for your body!

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Alec S.

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I love using this spray in the morning to help me wake up and get going. The taste is delicious and the caffeine and vitamins give me the energy I need to start my day off right.

Working very well

Aiden F

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I love how I can throw it in my bag and get little boosts of energy throughout my day! It’s not too strong which is great for getting to that optimal caffeinated sweet spot. Plus not having to pee is kind of great.

I love this product!

John S.

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I love this product. I get the caffeine hit basically right away but no jitters and it's not fucking with my stomach the way coffee does. Also, it's so convenient to be able to just throw it in my pocket and have for whenever. Love.

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Five pumps, zazzed up! My coworkers and I have been loving a new energy alternative. Pzaz gets the job done!

Honestly pretty good

Cole W

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I keep it in my pocket and if I’m working or something and need a little energy I get digging and bam I got caffeine in my pocket. Pretty bitter taste but it doesn’t last long. Not crazy strong. It’s good product yes

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