Off-taste Masking through Flavourings
In today’s modern world of food and beverage products, pure taste and mouth feel are no longer enough for the consumer. Today’s modern consumer is looking for far, healthier options. Obesity is an issue, especially in children, tooth care, diabetes, salt content, fat content. The inclusion of vitamin and mineral all are now rapidly becoming the benchmark. These are very noble and worthwhile activities; however, there is a significant drawback for the manufacturer with these new products. It is a cruel twist to humanity that all the things we love some much, all the things that give us pleasure and indulgence, are bad for us in large quantities, and we all love these things in large amounts.
Sugar, salt and fat are perfect from a taste angle. However, when we replace sugar, which is relatively simple to do, we find that the artificial molecules generated to do this endure a lot of bad press. The negative publicity can be caused many times due to limited knowledge about it simply because something is artificial means they are not naturally found on the earth, which people often see as being wrong. Therefore we have to replace or reduce the sugar content with naturally occurring substances.
I am sure we have all heard of Stevia, Monk fruit etc. These do impart the right level of sweetness. However, they come with an unpleasant after taste. Salt can be replaced often with Potassium Chloride, which does the job very well but also comes with an unpleasant metallic after-taste; vitamins and proteins are in general all unpleasant or meaty or bitter. They all have issues. If we reduce fat, we then lose mouth feel, and so stabilisers need to be used to give back the thick fatty feeling, flavours of fat need to be included.
Flavour companies can help here to bridge these gaps. We have studied the effects of salt, sugar, sour, and bitter on the tongue’s different taste receptors. By including specific trigger molecules, we can keep these receptors active for longer and boost salt and sugar perception, or we can switch them off or confuse some so that the bitter notes of amino acids and off-tastes get diminished. Easier said than done; the theory here is a lot easier than the practice.
Sugar, for example, is perfect but the products we use to replace them do not have the one size fits all properties of sugar. Therefore we still have to experiment with different dosages. Some products, such as cake in which sugar plays a physical as well as taste part. 40% of a cake is sugar, and if you remove it, you don’t get anything near the same product. Therefore you will see that beverages tend to be the area where we can do this to the best effect. Snacks if the key focus area for salt and fat reduction, and you will have noticed an explosion in the number of new healthy snacking products. Bodybuilding protein shakes also used non-nutritive sweeteners and masking agents for the proteins.
Part of every flavour company’s research and development activities is to stay ahead of the curve. The wishes of the market place are apparent. Consumers want guilt-free healthy products that retain all the indulgence of the products they have come to know and love so much. As a trusted flavouring partner, we are here to help our manufacturers design more sustainable offerings in this space and introduce products in the market following the pure mantra of health and sustainability.Array
Keva has an extensive flavour shop for various food and beverage applications, besides a team of expert flavourists and food technologists for creating custom flavours and matches. To partner with us, contact Keva today.
The statements, views, thoughts and opinions expressed on blog or social media are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Keva Flavours or its parent organisation. The company does not take any responsibility for the views of the author.