In a US patent filing, Tropicana said it had addressed taste impact by combining calcium lactate and hydroxyapatite (often known as tricalcium phosphate, although its formula is technically different). This blend, it said, resulted in a ‘surprisingly good taste,’ it wrote in its patent filing.
The method enables calcium fortification in a number of juices, including citrus juices and non-citrus fruit and vegetable juices such as apple, pear, grape, pineapple, cranberry, pomegranate, and tomato.
A tasty calcium blend
Calcium fortification can be achieved by adding calcium citrate malate. However, Tropicana said this adds operational complexity and costs. For example, calcium citrate malate can precipitate during pasteurization, resulting in equipment scaling and therefore increasing processing costs.
Yet other methods of fortification may sacrifice taste, it added. For example, calcium chloride can give a salty aftertaste; calcium hydroxide and calcium oxide give a ‘flat’ taste; while calcium lactate can leave a bitter aftertaste and tricalcium phosphate a metallic aftertaste.
Tropicana said some methods of calcium fortification were problematic because they were only ‘sparingly soluble’, meaning calcium content could vary from pack to pack.
It said there was a need for a calcium source which does not cause processing issues, is less expensive to use, and does not affect the taste of juice. Calcium fortified beverages that do not require added citric acid or a citrate compound, it said, were also desirable.
“It has been discovered that the combination of calcium lactate and hydroxyapatite in particular amounts has a surprisingly good taste, that is, the absence of a significant negative taste attribute as a result of the calcium source,” it said.
“In one aspect of the invention, the calcium-fortified beverage comprises a calcium source present to provide a nutritionally significant amount of calcium, wherein the calcium comprises from about 40% to about 65% calcium lactate and from about 35% to about 60% tricalcium phosphate, preferably hydroxyapatite, all on the basis of calcium contributed by these calcium sources.”
“Surprisingly, although both calcium lactate and tricalcium phosphate each have taste drawbacks, it has been found that their combination in the relative amounts disclosed does not have a significant taste drawback.”
The resulting beverage contains around 250mg - 450mg of calcium per 240ml of liquid – a ‘nutritionally significant amount’, Tropicana said. It also includes vitamin D (at levels around 80 I.U. of vitamin D per 240ml of beverage).
In addition to the calcium, the beverage could also be supplemented with nutraceuticals, such as magnesium and selenium, it explained. “Suitable vitamin nutraceuticals include vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, and E. Other suitable nutraceuticals include omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and fiber...Other suitable nutraceuticals include amino sugars such as glucosamine and n-acetyl glucosamine.”
Cranberry, tangerine, banana, and tomato juice
Tropicana said the method could be used with ‘any type of beverage’, although it worked best with juices and any remaining taste impact of calcium could be dealt with by further flavor formulation.
“The flavor of the calcium-fortified beverage may be further improved by adding a topnote flavor component to mask any subtle off tastes from the calcium source. The applicable topnote for a particular product will depend on the product (for orange juice, the topnote is orange citrus flavour).”
Source: WIPO Publication No. US20150037465
Calcium-fortified beverages and method of making thereof
Applicants: Tropicana Products, Inc. Inventors: T. Rivera, N. Shields, J. Douglass-Mickey.