Flavour powder suppliers and manufacturers have to work hard to bring new and different flavour combinations to food and drink applications. This is true when it comes to delivering flavours through natural products.
In the past year, exotic new flavour powder combinations like lychee and pineapple, Stracciatella and salted caramel, and fennel and cardamom have become available in stores. With global travel now being as easy as clicking a button and the rise of the “Instagram effect,” people are learning about new cultures, cuisines, and flavours. This makes people want and expect to be able to find these foods and flavours at home. Due to the rise of the “adventurous consumer,” the number of new foods and beverages with ethnic flavours grew by an average of 17% per year from 2013 to 2017.
These flavours or combinations of flavours are being used in more things than just traditional spice or seasoning blends and instant noodles. They are now being used in flavoured teas, savoury snacks, sports nutrition, and powdered drinks, among other things.
Manufacturers not only need to be aware of these new trends, but they also need to learn how to encapsulate and carry these flavours into their final products.
To meet the demand for these bold and interesting flavours while making sure that production is consistent and affordable, ingredient formulations and processes need to get better. In particular, the process of turning flavours that start out as liquids into powders.
Spray drying is the most common and traditional way to encapsulate flavours, and plating on maltodextrin is the other important way to carry flavours. Plating is the physical process of mixing liquid substances onto a solid carrier, which is usually maltodextrin in this case. This makes a powder that flows easily and can be used to make dry-mix spice mixes, powdered sauces, and teas.
With the rise of more flavours from the Middle East, Japan, and the Mediterranean, manufacturers are trying to turn more liquid and oil-based flavours into powders that are smooth and easy to mix. Even a small amount of these expensive, delicate ingredients can cost a lot. This means that one of the most important things for food producers is to make sure the food can be served in as many ways as possible while still tasting good and keeping well.
Using traditional plating agents and methods like spray drying can be hard, especially for liquids that are thick and sticky, like syrup. Because these ingredients are thick, the way they are processed needs to be changed, which often costs more and takes more time.
Technology for Plating That Works Well
In the past few years, a processing method that makes porous starch has become an alternative solution. This versatile ingredient comes from nature and doesn’t need any special tools. It can be used in regular mixers and blenders. Because porous corn-based plating agents are not gelatinised and have a unique granular structure, they can be used to carry high-flavour concentrations. They can also move easily through processing equipment and mix evenly into food and drink recipes, even when thick liquids like honey and chocolate syrup are used.
Plating agents like Ingredion’s N-ZORBITTM 2144 DG, which are made from waxy corn, let food manufacturers make powders that mix evenly and flow easily, which speeds up the formulation process. The unique, porous structure increases the amount of surface area that is exposed to liquids. This makes absorption easier and better and gives a plating capacity of up to 40%. This means that 100 grammes of N-ZORBITTM 2144 DG plating agent can plate up to 70 grams of liquid, which is a lot more than traditional carriers like maltodextrin.
So, manufacturers can make highly concentrated, active, and vibrant flavours in small amounts of powder. This lowers the cost of use and reduces the cost of packaging.
Along with this, natural extracts are preferred over synthetic ones to reduce dietary chemicals. Maltodextrin powder needs silica dioxide to flow smoothly. Flavour companies and manufacturers are seeking to eliminate using silica dioxide because consumers desire natural, basic ingredients. In Europe, “no additives or preservatives” snack products increased by 60%. (H2 2017-H2)
By adding things like N-ZORBITTM 2144 DG plating agent, which doesn’t need to be mixed with silica dioxide to make the powder flow better, manufacturers can give customers what they want: a clear and simple label. The product can be called “glucose syrup” on food labels in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This makes it more likely that retailers and customers will want to buy it.
Exciting New Flavours
The increased demand for encapsulated powder flavours of high-value-added ingredients is expected to continue with the trend for broader food flavours. Consumers and markets desire simple labelling and little processing with intense flavour. Choosing a suitable and successful approach depends on chemicals, storage, and further processing. Working with a partner that can navigate available methods and ingredients can help producers capitalise on this developing market.