Using natural ingredients to create authentic, fresh flavors
The word natural remains a powerful force in food and beverage product development.
Consumer desire for naturally flavored products is an emerging trend and one that may have staying power, said Paul Manning, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Sensient Technologies, Milwaukee.
“Today, 75% to 80% of new products contain natural colors, but only about a third of the market is natural colors,” he said. “We’re seeing brands that have been around for many, many years using more natural ingredients.
“To some extent we are seeing the trend play out with flavors and natural flavors, too. I would suggest the next wave will be from natural flavors to extracts, because more and more ‘natural extract’ is becoming the most impactful label to provide customers. In many applications it is more compelling than using ‘natural.’”But making the transition is not without challenges, Mr. Manning said.
“Natural products and natural ingredients in general tend to be more complex to utilize in applications,” he said. “Nature does not standardize products by region or crop year, and therefore it is critical that we standardize the outcome for the customer. We can do this quickly.
“Also driving the complexity of natural products are the various off notes that can be imparted by an extract or a natural color. We can quantify these off notes and work with the customer to eliminate those impacts. We have developed deodorization techniques, taste blocking and masking, and other extraction methods that provide pretty sophisticated outcomes for many of these natural products.”