Dry beverage mixes driving customized nutrition trend

Kool-Aid, Ovaltine and Tang are some of the earliest forms of powdered drink mixes. More recently, the category has evolved from a “cheap and quick” way to get flavor into water or milk, to a value-added premium segment.

There are many ingredient considerations when formulating dry drink mixes, as it is critical that the mix quickly dissolve, not be gritty or have sediment, and look and taste appealing. It must do all of these things while having a lengthy ambient shelf life, with most products expected to be acceptable for at least a year.

Because we drink with our eyes first, color is a key consideration. Variations in hue must be considered with mixes that may be dissolved into different bases, such as water, milk, nut beverages, etc. Because mixes are expected to have a long shelf life, colors must be able to withstand the test of time.

Sensient Food Colors has a proprietary technology that allows for plating-grade natural colors derived from oil- and water-soluble sources. This allows for long shelf life, cleaner label dry mixes, as they no longer must rely on synthetic colors for stability, or oil-soluble natural colors, which are prone to oxidative breakdown.

Flavors also may be a challenge in dry mixes because the heat of spray drying causes volatile components to be lost during processing.

“This means compounds such as fruit esters will be lost during processing, causing a shift in the overall flavor profile,” said Joshua Jackson, beverage applications technologist, Sensient Flavors, Hoffman Estates, Ill. “Altering the spray dry processing parameters is one way to help reduce the amount of volatiles lost.”

Read the full article at Food Business News

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