Balancing act: How extracts thread the needle between clean labels and great taste

How can products be made that satisfy consumers’ desires for transparent, clean labeling and great taste? The issue is not a new one, and it will likely be around as long as food and beverage manufacturers exist.

Sensient flavorists tackled that problem in a recent issue of Perfumer & Flavorist magazine. Change is the watchword in food and beverage production, they said, calling out everything from what consumers want — not just labeling, but also innovative tastes, products tailored to a healthy lifestyle and more — to advances in flavoring options and technology. The answer, with flavors in particular, seems to be more.

“Consumers expect the food they consume to be more than just fuel to get them through the day; food has become a way to experience a new culture or relive a fond memory,” the article says. “Because of this, they have dramatically increased their consumption of spices over the past 60 years.”

To meet that need, many manufacturers are turning to extracts vs. powdered or dehydrated flavors. That switch is possible today thanks to new methods that allow for more flavor compounds to be retained during processing.

“Take ginger extract,” the article explains. “Developers may switch from using powdered ginger to ginger extract because of ease of use and product consistency. A challenge of ginger oil is a higher content of both a- and b-pinenes, which can oxidize over time with exposure to light, heat and even coming in contact with plastic packaging. An easy way to avoid oxidation and increase the taste performance across a finished product’s shelf life is to use a ginger extract that was extracted through sub-critical CO2 extraction.”

When looking for a natural ingredient solution, it is critical to use products such as extracts that are designed to deliver longer-lasting taste performance across a finished product’s shelf life, the piece summarizes. Want to know more? You can read the article here, and we’d love to share some additional insights on how to add more flavor and variety to your products. Contact us here to learn more.