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Synergy tackles flavour challenges in high protein stevia drinks

By Helen Glaberson , 21-Oct-2010
Last updated the 21-Oct-2010 at 18:00 GMT

Synergy has launched a range of new flavours which it claims will “tackle the flavouring challenges” in drinks posed by whey protein and natural sweetener stevia-sweetened beverages.

The international flavours and ingredients company aims to uncover flavourings that will address “off notes” that are associated with protein and stevia beverages.

The company said that it launched the new flavours “In response to the demand for high-protein, low-calorie products in sports nutrition and the growing trend for natural products in this category”.

Synergy has developed a range of flavours from traditional chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla and what it describes as “more trendy and complex flavours”, such as honey cream and baked oatmeal.

The flavours were launched in the US this month and are also available in Brazil. The flavours are also currently under development in the UK but are not currently at a stage of commercialisation, as stevia has not yet been approved as an ingredient in the UK.

Flavour challenges

“Since whey protein and stevia have been associated with negative taste profiles and bitter off-notes, developing a product that balances taste and the functionality requires a dose of strategy, a degree of insight, and a measure of innovative flavour creation,” said the company.

In relation to the company’s further developments for stevia sweetened beverages, Karen Gallagher, the marketing manager for Synergy US told BeverageDaily.com, “We plan to focus on optimisation of beverage systems containing stevia by looking at different natural sweetener combinations and designing flavours to complement these systems.”

Synergy is also looking at flavourings for other all-natural high intensity sweeteners, but the company is currently unable to divulge what they are.

Gallagher said Synergy had carried out its palatability research in a range of ways: by using its knowledge of whey protein from its parent company Carbery, a leading manufacturer of whey protein, through learnings from its partnership with North Carolina State University, and also from drawing on its previous experience in beverage development.

Synergy produces flavours to complement various sweetener systems that are suitable for organic and certified organic flavours. The company also produces Vanlab branded vanilla extracts and Saporesse branded savoury ingredients.

The company has production and technical facilities in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.

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