Crafting flavors naturally for health and wellness

Improving the health and wellness options for food and beverage products or dietary supplements is a growing consumer interest following COVID-19. Additionally, the continued demand for convenience as well as stackable health and wellness benefits are product requirements. The consumer benefit claims with recent new drink product introductions extend beyond the traditional nutritional, hydration, gut health and energy claims to feature immunity support, mood, relaxation, beauty, and focus.

Founded and headquartered in California, Flavor Producers has been developing natural and organic plant-based flavors for Health & Wellness food and beverage products for over 40 years. Recently, the expansion of a portfolio of Tasteful Technologies™ sourced from plant-based natural and organic raw materials are providing product developers with a tailored approach to taste with the addition of health & wellness ingredients. “Optimizing the taste of food and beverages or gummies that feature health and wellness ingredients or dietary supplements requires minimizing the taste detractors present in many of these ingredients” says Tony Moore, Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Flavorist at Flavor Producers. “There are over 50 sources of bitterness, for example, with different taste receptors so one approach with a traditional masker is not effective”, he adds. Health & wellness trending ingredients contributing taste detractors to food and beverages include plant-based ingredients, caffeine, natural sweeteners, pre and probiotics, adaptogens, proteins, vitamins and minerals which all add different off-flavors to food and beverages.

“Functional ingredients or added nutrients and dietary supplements can sit on the preferred flavor and negatively impact the taste profile”, says Matt Thompson, Application Technologist at Flavor Producers. “By tailoring the approach specifically to the type of ingredient that is bitter, the preferred flavor pops. It is important to identify the specific source of taste detractor (i.e., caffeine, stevia, monk fruit, zinc, melatonin), optimize this detractor with specific Tasteful Technologies™ and then consider selecting an organic or natural characterizing flavor that leans into the taste profile” adds Thompson. For example, grapefruit, passionfruit, or dark chocolate profiles are good choices when bitter ingredients like caffeine are present in a formulation. The natural bitterness of those flavor profiles is familiar to consumers” says Thompson.

Organic flavor WONF’s are options for product developers who prefer to name the specific characterizing flavor profile on their product label. The Tasteful Technologies™ may be combined easily with the selected characterizing flavors to offer convenient options for food and beverage product development. For example, RTD coffee and tea beverages have varying types of formats (Cold Brew, Latte, Chai Tea), caffeine sources and some have natural sweeteners. By addressing the profile of bitterness and sweetness before considering the characterizing profile, the overall taste will be optimized. An Organic or Natural flavor profile like the currently popular Hibiscus may be considered (see Mintel, GNPD chart below).

Here is a Transparently Delicious™ Tea beverage formulation from our experienced application team. It features our unique Tru Bruz® line of brewed Tea and Coffee flavors, extracts & essences as well as Natural and Organic Flavors and Tasteful Technologies™:

Summer Tangerine Chai Chili Refresher: A light and refreshing Chai Tea water with a burst of naturally sweet tangerine served over ice.

  • Organic Tru Bruz® Black Tea Essence and Extract
  • Organic Sweetness Modifier with Tasteful Technologies™
  • Natural Tangerine Flavor WONF Rütz®
  • Natural Spice Chai Chili Flavor WONF
  • Ingredients: Water, Brewed Black Tea Extract, Black Tea Essence, Natural and Organic Flavors, Citric Acid, Caffeine, Monk Fruit Extract

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