Meanwhile, customers demand solutions that allow them to push the envelope on shelf life in both powder and liquid beverages. As a result, flavor teams regularly add new profile types, skills and technology to their creative palates.
Formulating the Unfamiliar
“We’ve gotten some challenges from our customers to design exotic fruit [flavors] for beverages,” says FONA International flavorist Denise Re. “Something novel is a bigger challenge, and I find it interesting to work on something that’s brand-new. I can use my creative talents a little more than just making a standard orange flavor. I like the challenge of researching and trying to figure out if that exotic fruit resembles anything else we have in our tool box.” In addition, Re works in concert with the analytical and sensory groups to ensure the team is matching the customer’s flavor target.
“It’s important [to consider] the client’s expectations for that product,” says FONA food scientist Jessica Zielinski, adding that the obscurity of certain exotic fruits can make it difficult to deliver all-natural flavors. And when it comes to targets such as superfruits, understanding customer expectations becomes even more important. This begins with an education in flavor descriptors. “Nomenclature is important in meeting the flavor development aspects of a product,” Zielinski says. “We work to both provide tools for our customers and become equilibrated to their tasting nomenclature. We break descriptors out by category because something ‘juicy’ in one category may be different from ‘juicy’ in another category."
Other topics discussed: Fortified Formulations; Natural and Organic; 9 Trends Shaping Beverage Flavors