Our Research : Product Development : Health Care Products : Consumer Products

Finding High-Quality Natural Mint

What flavor comes to mind when you think of toothpaste? For most people, the answer is mint. Since the development of its first dentifrice, Lion Toothpowder, launched around the time the Company was founded, Lion has insisted on using natural mint, which offers a classic flavor, unique aroma and refreshing feeling.

As it is extracted from plants, the quality of natural mint oil varies considerably from year to year, depending on the weather and conditions in the production area. In order to ensure that variations in the mint crop do not cause changes in our toothpaste flavors, we pay assiduous attention to mint quality.

Every year, around November, shortly after the mint harvest, Lion researchers travel to the United States to visit mint dealers in the Great Lakes region and on the West Coast. They check each drum of extracted oil individually to carefully assemble a blend that will maintain a consistent aroma. Since harvested mint is matured for a year before being used to create fragrance, researchers must be able to accurately predict how the scents of the freshly harvested oils will change over the course of a year. Furthermore, they must consider such factors as how fragrances will be perceived differently in the U.S. and Japanese climates, which requires sophisticated quality evaluation skills.

R&D Case Study—Consumer Products