SWITZERLAND – Flavor and fragrances company, Givaudan has unveiled new clean label solutions for masking off-notes in plant-based beverages and meat alternatives.

The solutions can counter off-notes across six plant-based proteins: soy, pea, faba, rice, oat, algae and whey, thus eliminating the need by manufacturers to add sugar and salt for the desired taste profile.

Developed by Givaudan’s expert panel over the past 18 months, the solutions meet the demand for clean label requirements amongst consumers who are conscious of what their diet contains.

They work without compromising on taste, while helping to achieve balance between functionality, texture, taste, nutrition and cost when dealing with alternative proteins.

“These days there are dozens of different types of plant proteins being used in product development and often in various combinations,” said Dr. Flavio Garofalo, Global Category Director Savoury Flavours and Natural Ingredients at Givaudan.  

“In nearly every case there are off-notes that need to be addressed. The first challenge is to identify the nature of the off note using multiple descriptors.

“This allows us to use our SmartTool to select the right masking ingredients to achieve the desired effect,” Garofalo tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

“The tool enables our flavourists to work with these proteins in any combination, to formulate a flavour solution that is well-suited for the application – and that tastes great.”

Healthy, functional and great tasting solutions

Though the demand for plant-based alternatives to meat has been quickly growing, manufacturers have had a problem with masking off-notes, thus turning to sugar and salt to change the taste perception and combat astringency and dryness.

That is why Givaudan has developed the solutions which are meant to meet consumer demand for healthy, nutritious and functional products.

The solutions are said to be natural flavors, non-GM, allergen-free and can be supplied as Halal and Kosher.  

They further address the ever-becoming stringent requirement for clean labels on consumer foods, a key driver in New Product Development (NPD).

Global food and beverage launch with a clean label claim saw a 13% CAGR in 2013-2017, with these products accounting for 29% of global NPD launches in 2017, according to Innova Market Insights.

“Givaudan’s smart masking tool offers an innovative way of working with these proteins, providing flavorists with the ability to safeguard the taste and textural integrity of the products, regardless of the protein supplier and the techniques they use to isolate the protein,” Garofalo says.

Smart masking tools are being used in obtaining great tastes in nutritional beverages such as milkshakes, weight management drinks and this is gaining caption too in meat alternatives.

Meat alternatives category is driven by a number of reasons including concern for animal welfare and the environment, a desire for healthier food, reducing meat consumption and in some cases the need for diet change.

However, R&Ds are put to the task to heavily invest in new product development to address the taste challenges associated with plant-based protein in nutritional beverages.

For Givaudan, the solutions are part of the continued efforts in innovation in healthier, nutritious and safe products, just as the consumer wants them.

The company has recently opened its new flagship Innovation Center in Kemptthal, Switzerland as it seeks to accelerate global efforts in developing sustainable flavor, taste and fragrance solutions.