Flavour Systems and Flavour Formats Explained

Flavour systems and flavour formats play crucial roles in the creation and application of flavours in the food industry.

In an ever-evolving market, food and drink producers are continually looking for new ways to create better-tasting products and more efficient production processes.

Innovations in flavour technology are shaping the way flavours are developed and applied in order to create a more vibrant and appealing product for consumers. Understanding the various types of flavour systems and formats is essential for producers as they strive to improve their products and processes.

Let's take a closer look at what these terms mean and how they are utilised.

What Are Flavour Systems?

Flavour systems refer to the combination of ingredients and substances that are used to create a specific flavour profile. These systems are carefully formulated by flavourists, who are skilled professionals specialising in the art and science of flavour creation. A flavour system typically consists of various natural or synthetic compounds, such as aroma chemicals, essential oils, extracts, and other flavouring substances.

The primary purpose of a flavour system is to replicate the taste and aroma of a particular food or beverage. It aims to capture the essence and sensory experience associated with that flavour, allowing manufacturers to enhance the taste of their products consistently.

Flavour systems can be customised to meet specific requirements. For example, a flavour system for a strawberry-flavoured product may need to be allergen-free, contain only natural ingredients, or have a reduced sugar content. By tailoring the flavour system, manufacturers can create products that cater to different dietary preferences, regulatory guidelines, and consumer demands.

What Are Flavour Formats?

Flavour formats refer to the physical form in which flavours are supplied to manufacturers for incorporation into their products. The choice of flavour format depends on various factors, including the manufacturing process, desired flavour release, and the specific application of the flavour.

Here are some common flavour formats:

  1. Liquid: Liquid flavours are often oil- or water-based and are available in concentrated forms. They are versatile and can be easily incorporated into liquid-based products such as beverages, sauces, dressings, and soups. Liquid flavours allow for consistent dispersion and distribution throughout the product.
  2. Powder: Powdered flavours offer convenience and stability. They can be obtained through processes like spray-drying encapsulation, blending, or granulation. Powdered flavours are commonly used in dry mixes, baked goods, snacks, and powdered beverages. They have a longer shelf life and can withstand high-temperature processing.
  3. Paste: Flavour pastes are highly concentrated and provide intense flavour profiles. They are often used in applications where a small amount of flavour is needed, such as in confectionery, ice cream, and bakery fillings. Flavour pastes are easy to handle and ensure precise dosing.
  4. Emulsion: Emulsions consist of tiny droplets of flavour dispersed in a continuous phase. They are commonly used in dairy products, spreads, and dressings. Emulsions enhance the mouthfeel and flavour release in these products, creating a smooth and enjoyable sensory experience.

The choice of flavour format is determined by the compatibility with the product matrix, ease of incorporation, desired flavour intensity, and stability requirements.

Flavour Innovation

At the forefront of flavour innovation lies the exploration of novel and unusual taste profiles, inspired by global culinary trends and driven by consumer demand for exotic, gastronomic experiences.

Multi-Sensory Flavour Experiences

The exploration of multisensory flavour experiences, where taste is combined with other sensory stimuli, such as scent, is paving the way for new and exciting culinary experiences.

For example, taking a novel approach to flavouring, air-up® bottles offer a new and exciting way to experience taste.

  • These innovative bottles work on the principle that a significant portion of what we perceive as taste actually comes from our sense of smell.

  • The air-up bottle uses this concept, delivering pure scents that mix with the water you drink, creating a flavour experience without the need for additives or sweeteners.

  • The functionality of an air-up bottle starts with a special pod, filled with aromatic granules. These pods are attached to the top of the bottle. Once the user takes a sip, the airflow carries the aroma from the pod into their mouth, tricking their brain into perceiving a flavour, even though the water is completely unflavoured.

  • Not only does this technology simplify ingredient lists and reduce sugar intake, it also offers a platform for food and beverage manufacturers to explore uncharted realms of flavour.

Sugar and Salt Replacements

The prevalence of health-conscious consumers has led to the emergence of products with reduced sugar and salt content, as well as sugar and salt substitutes.

Flavour technology enables manufacturers to reduce the amount of added sugar or salt in their products while still delivering palatable taste profiles.

  • Aromatech's R&D laboratories have developed a range of "value added flavours," including Sensalt® and Sensugar®, which faithfully replicate the taste of salt or sugar while aligning with our customers' "clean label" requirements.

  • By enhancing the existing salt or sugar notes in a finished product, these flavours allow for a substitution of approximately 25% of either ingredient without compromising on taste. This breakthrough not only maintains the desired flavour profile but also meets the highest standards of quality and taste.

  • Sensalt® is a natural flavour that does not contain any additives or potassium chloride, commonly found in certain salt enhancers. By avoiding additives like E508, Sensalt® eliminates any metallic undertones or bitterness that may not align with the preferences of today's consumers. Experience the pure taste of Sensalt®, meeting the expectations of discerning individuals.

  • Sensugar® is a natural flavour that contains no additives or Stevia, which can be found in some sugar substitutes. By avoiding the metallic undertones often associated with reduced sugar products, Sensugar® provides a delightful taste experience in food and beverages.

Vegan and Vegetarian Substitutes

Recent advancements in flavour technology enable the creation of hyper-realistic, vegetarian and vegan-friendly flavours, mimicking the taste and texture of animal products, thus catering to the growing plant-based food movement.

To create these vegetarian and vegan alternatives, manufacturers are relying heavily on natural sources of flavour, such as fruit and vegetable extracts. Through the careful selection and combination of flavours from these sources, it is possible to replicate the taste profiles commonly associated with animal-based products.

Natural Flavour Solutions

Recent advances have also spearheaded the development of 'natural' flavours through fermentation processes, offering a sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional extraction methods.

Fermented ingredients are gaining traction in the food industry, offering a clean-label solution with multiple functional benefits.

These flavours come with extensive sensory profiles that can be used to create novel flavour experiences and deliver remarkable levels of complexity.

The development of natural flavours can help make food and beverage products more appealing to health-conscious consumers. With the ever-growing demand for clean labels, manufacturers have a powerful opportunity to explore innovative flavour solutions that will bring added value to their products.

Final Thoughts

The development of innovative flavour solutions is the cornerstone of product success. Whether manufacturers are looking to create unique experiences, reduce sugar and salt, or provide vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, the right combination of flavours can make all the difference in developing a successful product.

At Uren, our extensive range of flavours and flavour solutions enable food and beverage producers to explore novel taste profiles, while meeting the highest standards of quality and taste. Our cutting-edge technology, experienced flavourists and highly trained technicians help to create unforgettable taste experiences. Contact us today to learn more about how Uren can help your products stand out from the crowd.