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Consumer demand for natural, low-fat and functional products presents ever-growing challenges to flavorists at the bench—notably in dairy applications that increasingly feature “low in,” functional and probiotic facets. For example, says Cindy Cosmos, senior flavor chemist with Bell Flavors & Fragrances, “Low fat is always a problem because there’s not the mouthfeel effect from a fat agent for the flavor to bond to. So you get spiking and off notes that develop.” Functional products also raise issues. “Any time you put a nutraceutical or functional [ingredient into a product] you always have a masking problem—not just with dairy flavors, but fruit, sweet, etc. in dairy products. You almost need to develop a two-flavor system. If you want a strawberry flavor and it’s going into a yogurt that has probiotics and vitamin E, which is really fishy, obviously you could have a great strawberry flavor, but what’s going to cover that fishy note? You essentially have to develop two flavors.”
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