Synergy’s water soluble hop essences tackle beer and soft drinks

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

The new essence range is considered an addition to hops, not a replacement to traditional dry hopping and hop pellets. Pic: Getty/5PH
The new essence range is considered an addition to hops, not a replacement to traditional dry hopping and hop pellets. Pic: Getty/5PH

Related tags Hops Beer Craft beer Ingredients IFT show

At IFT last week, Synergy Flavors debuted a new line of Synergy Pure Hop Essences as an alternative to traditional dry hopping. The water soluble ingredients are designed for beer, but can also be used with soft drinks like sparkling water, kombucha and lemonade.

Synergy is categorizing the new hop essences under its herb portfolio. Its other ingredient portfolios include botanicals, tea, coffee, oak, vanilla, fruits and vegetables.

“With proprietary extraction capabilities and industry-leading flavor expertise, we are committed to enhancing the functional components of herbal extracts. Our extracts and essences impart unrivaled taste and aroma in applications ranging from blended beverages and yogurt, to soups, sauces and gravies,”​ says Synergy.

Synergy decided to get into the hops game to provide craft brewers with an alternative they have not yet seen on the market. It believes that from a cost and use perspective, it’s more efficient to use an already-extracted liquid essence than it would be to use a dry hop.

Lindsey Oostema, business development manager at Synergy, spoke to BeverageDaily at IFT about what makes these hop essences different from existing hop extracts and hop oils.

“This is a unique product in that it gives you that aroma, but also the hop oil is within the essence itself. So you’re getting that aroma and all of the flavor components of it,”​ she said.

Not a replacement for dry hopping

At IFT Synergy officially launched the essence range, showcasing it in a hibiscus hop-flavored water. The primary application will be in beer, where it won’t have to be identified on the label as an essence, according to Synergy. But in refreshment beverages, label restrictions would require it to be listed.

The team thinks it’s also important to be educating customers. As more people are moving more toward buying natural products, they are getting drawn in by trendy hop ingredients. But Oostema explained that if a hop tea or hop water does not contain the oil, then it doesn’t actually have all of the components of the hops.

“We’re going to a number of different breweries, craft and larger, to see if we can help them with efficiencies. But on the refreshment beverage side, we’re going to start pushing it more toward anything like seltzers and teas,”​ she said.

Synergy wants the new essence range to be considered an addition to hops, not a replacement. It believes it will be successful particularly in the brewing industry because of its versatility as an essence, and not a flavor.

Synergy does offer flavors for use in beverages, bakery, confectionery, dairy, protein and savory applications. The beverage flavors are available in liquid format as essences, extracts, emulsions and compound flavors, and as powder or spray dried.

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