Wild GmbH has introduced new brewed tea products for use in premium iced tea beverages, which it claims are a first for the mainstream beverage industry.
Although very small scale tea producers may be producing iced teas from freshly brewed tea, microbiological safety concerns have ruled out freshly brewed tea as a product that could be used by iced tea producers on a commercial scale – until now, Wild says.
Speaking with FoodNavigator at the SIAL trade show in Paris this week, Fabiana Matucci, senior vice president of strategic business units at Wild, said that the company had developed a technological solution to produce ‘brewed’ and ‘freshly brewed’ tea for manufacturers, capturing the brewed taste of tea that can be difficult to replicate with tea extracts. The difference between the two is in an additional pasteurisation step for the brewed version, which gives it a longer shelf life.
“This technology replicates the taste of a freshly brewed tea and there is no extraction process,” Matucci said.
Manufacturers using Wild’s new products would be able to use the label claim “with brewed tea”, in addition to a claim about the tea’s provenance; Wild uses black Ceylon tea for both its brewed and freshly brewed tea products.
The company could not divulge the specific details of its new technology, but Matucci said that apart from a particular way of processing, “the supply chain has to be controlled in a very special way to ensure a safe product.”
She added: “It is easy to do at home but in the b2b scene it is really something very new.”
Wild says that iced tea drinks are currently the second fastest growing segment of the European beverage sector, after energy drinks, and apart from its new brewed tea products, the company has a range of other tea concepts on show at SIAL, including a ‘herbal mix’ blend of herb extracts for tea beverages.