Rebalancing Nature for Maximum Impact

August 1, 2007

2 Min Read
Rebalancing Nature for Maximum Impact

Consumers often determine their liking—and their likelihood of a repeat purchase—of a product after the first bite or sip. Therefore, its flavor and aroma need to hit home with intensity and precision right from the start.

Robertet Flavors fine-tuned the new Xtreme lines to meet tested consumer preferences for true-to-the-fruit flavors. These natural flavors are characteristic of those found in the real fruit, but tailored for better taste impact, aroma and consumer acceptability.

They include:

  • Xtreme Berry—blackberry, Concord grape, red and black cherry, mixed berry, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, wild-berry and cranberry;

  • Xtreme Orchard—Red Delicious and Granny Smith apple, ripe and canned peach, watermelon, pear and plum;

  • Xtreme Tropical—kiwi, guava, canned and fresh pineapple, coconut, Alphonso and ripe mango, red fruit punch, yellow tropical punch and banana.

Other lines, which will add some nonfruit flavors to the mix, are also under development, including Xtreme Indulgent (chocolate, caramel, cream, coffee, vanilla and dulce de leche) and Xtreme Citrus (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and tangerine).

All these natural, liquid flavors are water-soluble and certified kosher and can be listed as “natural flavors” on ingredient statements. They are suitable for juices, carbonated beverages, enhanced waters, energy drinks, teas, alcoholic beverages, yogurt, snacks and soy bases.

“The use levels of these flavors are intentionally designed to be lower than conventional natural flavors,” says Neil Callahan, senior vice president, sales and marketing. “Our recommended usage level is around 0.05% to 0.10% in most products.”

In analyzing consumer preferences during sensory testing and analysis, the company uncovered that consumers find some notes in authentic fruit flavors less appealing than others. “We’ve taken a little bit of creative license here to improve the flavor systems to be more consumer-acceptable,” says Callahan. “We’ve tweaked some things like astringency and bitterness and added some additional notes that make the cranberry flavor, for example, a little bit more complex. The whole goal is to get better consumer acceptability from the profile.” He described this process as “rebalancing flavor.”

Typically, natural blueberry flavors come across as very floral. However, that floral note isn’t always desirable to the consumer. “Our sensory tests have shown that if you can drop the floral contribution to the blueberry flavor, it actually becomes much more acceptable to the consumer,” says Callahan.

In another example, the company has slightly decreased the benzaldehyde note long characteristic of black-cherry flavor. “Consumers have moved away from that particular note in cherry flavors and are looking for a more-balanced character,” he says. “Yet we still have a very high-impact black-cherry character.” Some flavors are tailored toward younger consumers, while others are fine-tuned to appeal to the adult demographic. 

Robertet Flavors 
10 Colonial Drive 
Piscataway, NJ 08854 
Phone: 732/981-8300 
Fax: 732/981-1717 
E-mail: [email protected]  

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