Rethinking color and flavor formulation — naturally

“No artificial ingredients or colors.” It’s a phrase standing out on product labels in every supermarket aisle, and small wonder: Now more than ever, consumers are demanding transparency in food and beverage creation and labeling. Mintel’s Global New Product Database showed that 43% of products introduced in 2018 claimed to be all-natural. And 73% of respondents to a FMCG Gurus survey (across 25 countries) said “100% natural” was an important quality in food and beverages.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased consumer focus on ingredient declarations. Sensient surveys done week over week during the past year have shown increases in consumers’ concerns about the healthfulness of the foods and beverages they are purchasing, as well as changes in the specific ingredients they are willing to accept.

This was the subject of a recent Food & Beverage Insider article that dove into the issues faced by manufacturers in this regard. Several Sensient technologists weighed in, discussing challenges that range from a perceived inferiority of natural flavors and colors to issues of stability in the manufacturing process, among others.

For instance, many believe that natural flavors and/or colors might be inferior, says Joshua Jackson, a Sensient application technologist.

“They’re typically made with the same combination of aroma compounds,” he told the magazine, adding that “Both natural and artificial aroma compounds provide the same flavor impacts and profiles when used in formulation.” The piece then noted that “impacts and profiles are improving by the season as suppliers invest in new flavor and color technologies and sourcing strategies.”

Sensient has been ahead of the curve in this regard. Flavor and color transparency and authenticity are trends we identified some time ago and have leveraged in our products to help manufacturers meet consumer demand for real, true-to-life experiences through products that appeal to taste as well as sight, smell and mouthfeel.

Be sure to read the full article for lots more insights from the Sensient team. We have the right combination of ingredients, technology and people to help create products that look, smell, feel and taste great while also meeting consumers’ shifting and complex demands.