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Plant-based flavors: ITS unveils range of natural masking solutions
Taste and texture company, International Taste Solutions (ITS), has developed a range of naturally-sourced masking solutions for proteins in plant-based foods and beverages. The ingredients are marketed as suitable for vegan consumers. Through the use of novel technology, the flavorings and maskers have the lowest impact on macronutrients in the industry, according to the company. The UK-based manufacturer has been collaborating with plant-based food and beverage start-ups over the last decade.
“The flavors are made from various natural sources, such as spices, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, herbs or similar plant materials. The technology is groundbreaking due to the way ITS applies its natural flavors to ensure maximum flavor,” Adam Cohen, ITS Marketing Manager tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
The product is appropriate for most applications, but the company’s main focus is on its core sectors of bakery, snacks, dairy and sports nutrition. Cohen also notes that the technology is already available on the market and that ITS have been supplying plant-based flavorings for many years.
“We started to see so many plant-based products on the market that didn’t taste very good. Just because something is plant-based, doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice on taste. That’s where we have been able to work with our customers and consistently demonstrate that plant-based food can taste great,” adds Mike Bagshaw, Owner and Founder of ITS.
ITS had decided that it needed to take a direct approach to capitalize on the booming plant-based market, which is set to soar by 327 percent in 2019. “The plant-based trend is driven by many factors such as the potential health and environmental benefits, but it is also driven by consumers looking to try new flavors,” continues Cohen.
The brand’s innovation team focuses on making pleasant-tasting plant-based flavors to ensure that business can work with a wide variety of sectors.
As the plant-based market expands, companies must address the long-existing challenge of masking off-notes in protein-rich foods. Traditionally, developers have used sugar and salt to improve taste perception and to combat astringency and dryness. However, these solutions often do not achieve the desired taste outcome and are unappealing to customers who demand healthy, nutritious and functional product.
Last month, Givaudan released a range of masking solutions for soy, pea, faba, rice, oat, algae and whey. The solutions were the result of more than 2,000 evaluations over the preceding 18 months. “Striking the balance between functionality, texture, taste, nutrition and cost when working with alternative proteins is difficult to achieve without fully understanding the interactions of all the ingredients in the food or beverage product,” said Dr. Flavio Garofalo, Global Category Director Savoury Flavours and Natural Ingredients at Givaudan.
It is imperative that food manufacturers continue to reassess flavor. “Flavors represent a fraction of the cost of a food product, but they control around 60 percent of consumer preference,” Mathieu Aste, Founder and CEO of iSense, told FoodIngredientsFirst last week. The solutions innovator is currently addressing an overt lack of uniformity in flavor mapping with its standardized method of “digitizing” taste profiles of flavors in tasting solutions.