UK company Create Flavours has spent a year working on an in-house research project to develop a new fruit flavours range with increased acceptability in low-fat dairy products.
The Clevedon firm said that traditional fruit flavours have a natural affinity with high-fat dairy systems, but that “when these same flavours are utilised in reduced or fat-free systems, they nearly almost lose deliciousness and integrity”.
Thus Create began a 12-month project – using mainly sensory and organoleptic analysis – to understand and identify the “key synergistic effects” occurring between specific flavour molecules in fruit flavours and dairy products.
In addition to yogurts, Create MD Jonathan Jones told this publication that the new range also performed well in other low-fat dairy environments such as drinks and desserts.
He added: “We have a strong hunch that these flavors are going to perform very well in whey protein concentrate-based formulations, and we’ll be looking at this area within the next few months.”
Declarable as natural
Create said the new flavourings – strawberry, raspberry and peach – were all are declarable as ‘natural’ under Regulation EC 1334/2008 (on flavourings) and were suitable for use in organic products.
Jones said: “We’re now working away on the tropical range. We’re concentrating on the passion fruit and mango. The work on mango is only weeks away from completion and we’re extremely happy with the progress.
“We expect the passion fruit to follow within a few months.”
During the course of research by the firm’s flavourists, Jones said Create was interested in assessing the relationship between fruit and dairy molecules.
“Think about flavour molecules in a Venn diagram, with say, strawberry molecules populating one set and dairy molecules the other,” he said.
The team’s interest lay at the intersection, Jones added: “This is where you find the key materials that allow you to increase elements such as creaminess, whilst maintaining the overall impression of the fruit.”
Asked about the challenges involved in developing the flavours, Jones told this publication: “The main challenges were both in identifying the key materials, and then incorporating these at the appropriate levels into the finished flavourings.
“There wasn’t a silver bullet that we could simply add to all the flavours across the range. For instance, the components that allow strawberry to work so well in dairy systems are quite different from those in raspberry.”
Despite the recent launch, Jones said Create had had “very positive responses to date” and saw its main markets as the UK and Northern Europe.
Quizzed as to whether other companies were active in the same space (increased acceptability of fruit flavours within low-fat dairy systems) Jones said he was unsure, but that customer feedback to date suggested that “very little work has been done along these lines”.