Flavour firms have been working hard to usher in a new generation of fruit flavours that go beyond the sweet, confectionery-style flavour profiles that have dominated in the past. The emphasis on natural flavours has been helped by the new regulation in the EU, which redraws the rules on what can be called natural and ‘from the named fruit’ (FTNF) and becomes applicable from January 2011.
Frutarom’s new strawberry flavour is the result of an intense screening process by the company’s UK team. It screened a number of different varieties at the point of optimum ripeness, and eventually settled on Cambridge Favourite – a strawberry popular in the UK.
Matthew Stokes, head of creation and application at Frutarom’s flavours division told FoodNavigator.com that this variety was chosen because of its profile, “which we perceived to be the traditional English flavour profile and evoked childhood memories of long hot summers.”
The strawberries were sourced by the flavour firm under agreements with UK growers, and the timescale for picking, crushing and flavour extraction is just four hours.
“The fruit was picked in July, interestingly and coincidently during the Wimbledon fortnight,” said Stokes. Eating strawberries is a tradition amongst spectators at the world-famous tennis tournament.
The new strawberry flavour was originally developed for use in beverages, but the company says versions are now available for use in bakery, confectionery and dairy products.
It is available with different percentages FTNF: 51, 90 and 95 per cent.
From 2011, natural flavours claiming to be ‘from the named fruit’ (FTNF) will have to originate 95 per cent from that fruit. The other 5 per cent can come from some other natural source.
The announcement of the new strawberry flavour follows the launch of a new set of citrus flavours last Autumn, developed under Frutarom’s new Citrus Competence programme and is based on a number of parameters that have not always been in evidence in citrus flavours on the market. These include refreshment, true-to-life, true-to-nature, natural, enhanced stability, freshness.
Others in its 95:5 portfolio include apple, apricot, blueberry, cocoa, coffee, peach and vanilla.
Other companies, too, have been targeting true-to-life qualities in fruit flavours. For instance, Givaudan has developed orange, lemon and lime flavours after assessing the profiles of fruit at a citrus grove in California.
US-based Blue Pacific has also made waves in this direction. It has a license agreement with New Zealand’s Plant and Food Research (formerly HortResearch) to commercialization of natural fruit flavours.