Meeting consumer demand for lower sugar and natural labeling

When consumers say they want to have it all, manufacturers know they have their work cut out for them. That’s as true for a cookie that must be low in sugar, yet high in taste and mouthfeel, as it is for a sedan that needs to have sports-car features yet also achieve good gas mileage.

The challenge is particularly acute for food and beverage manufacturers. Consumers have a raft of demands, most notably: low sugar, more protein and natural ingredients/labeling.

The solution involves the use of substitutes that meet the nutritional asks, and whose off-notes can be effectively masked.

In a recent Food Business News article, Sensient Flavors’ Senior Innovation Scientist Charithra Rai spoke to these challenges.

“Bakers are using flours that are whole grain and gluten-free and adding vegetable proteins to achieve the natural label that the consumer desires,” Rai said. “Unfortunately, these ingredients can introduce off-notes. In addition, reducing sugar can lead to texture and mouthfeel issues. Not addressing these challenges could lead to undesirable taste of the finished product.”

Some of the biggest challenges in the bakery and snack-food arena include:

  • Protein off-notes: A protein source such as soy, pea, mung bean or lentil, or a product with a high protein content, may be bitter or include beany or earthy notes.
  • Reduced sugar: Some sugar replacements can create a bitter taste.
  • Whole grain: Wheat or white whole-grain flours can introduce bitterness.
  • Additives: Emulsifiers and dough conditioners can create bitterness or a sour taste.

The solution is to use the proper masking technology and other natural solutions. By doing so, consumers’ demand for flavor and mouthfeel is met, as well as their desire for a natural ingredients list and clean label. We know how to navigate the challenge of creating a product that looks and tastes great, while also checking off consumers’ health and wellness boxes. Let’s see what we can create together.