Fine Chemicals Division logo


Helping protect children throughout the world, Bitrex® makes potentially harmful products extremely unpalatable and helps prevent children from swallowing them. Discovered by Johnson Matthey, Bitrex® has developed into one of the world’s leading safety components to reduce accidental poisoning.

Bitrex® is recognised as the most bitter substance known to man. It is inert and odourless, however very low concentrations are sufficient to make a product unpalatable without altering its original properties. As only very small amounts of Bitrex are needed, it is an extremely effective solution that can be added to most compatible products to make them safer in the home.

Child poisoning is of particular concern, for example in the UK, 25,500 children under the age of 5 were sent to hospital with suspected poisoning in 2013 – that’s 70 a day. Young children are particularly sensitive to bitter tastes and so Bitrex® acts as an effective deterrent that helps to prevent accidental ingestion of harmful household products by young children.

Johnson Matthey discovered Bitrex in 1958 (through our Macfarlan Smith subsidiary) and since then it has been developed for use in many applications including household personal care, autocare products, and pesticides.

Find out about the benefits that Bitrex could bring to your products.


Find out more about Bitrex

Please contact us directly for more information on Bitrex

Find out more about our Controlled Substances

Find out more about the Fine Chemicals Division