Sensient Technologies claims that high sugar prices mean beverage brands are looking for alternative sweeteners, as it launches eight new flavors targeted at the beverage industry.
Black Grape, Cola, Red, Summer Fruits, Orange, Tropical, Lemon Lime and Green flavorings all compensate for “sensory drawbacks in products with reduced sugar content”, Sensient claimed, or products completely free from sugar.
Sensient said the flavors compensate for loss of body, mouthfeel and sweetness in reduced sugar formulations, while it can also supply bespoke 'signature' solutions for clients beyond its wider All-Purpose Sweet Solutions (APSS) range, within which the new flavors take their place.
Asked about shelf stability, Dirk Fichtner, MD Flavors Europe and Fragrances, Sensient Flavors, told BeverageDaily.com: "Shelf life studies combined with sensory analysis, have shown the products to be stable throughout the life of a variety of different beverages."
So what set Sensient’s system above rival flavoring systems? "Sensient's broad experience in extraction technologies combined with innovative flavour creation has enabled us to create a natural high performance sweet flavouring system," Fichtner said, "which stands out in our evaluations in sugar reduced products".
Works well with stevia
Used alongside stevia, for instance, Sensient said the flavors will mask undesirable aftertastes, while brand owners can label them as ‘natural flavoring’, and they add no calories to end products.
Sensient developed the APSS range to improve the sweetness profile of calorie-reduced products, and said it adapted the technology for specific flavoring types particularly popular in beverages, but also in bakery, confectionery and dairy products.
Fichtner said: “Rising consumer awareness of the importance of a healthy diet, along with the high price of sugar means that manufacturers are looking for alternatives.
“When a recipe is reformulated, it is crucial that the end product’s taste and appearance don’t suffer,” he added.
In terms of where in the world Sensient expected the new flavors to perform well, Fichtner said that since they were based on natural extracts, "these systems offer added value and global appeal to today's consumer, who is demanding healthier products without compromising flavour and taste".
"We observe the trend for sugar reduction globally without geographical differences," he added.
US beverage flavor trends
Compiling a list of flavor trends for 2013, US supplier Bell Flavors & Fragrances said their results reflected consumers’ desire for nostalgic, familiar US flavors, as well as sweet-tasting beverages.
In 2012, Bell noted an “overwhelming amount of sweet beverages taking over the market”, and tipped the trend to continue this year with ‘dessert-inspired flavors’.
“The beverage category is taking some cues from confectionery trends as we are seeing flavors based on some of our favorite desserts and treats,” the company said.
Additionally, spicy beverages would play a key role in differentiating familiar products, Bell added, while consumers were also attracted to healthier beverages with less salt and sugar.
“These beverages will increase the demand for more flavorful solutions, such as herbs, spices and other flavors,” according to Bell.