Aquamin is a seaweed-derived organic mineral ingredient, which is rich in calcium and magnesium, and also contains 70 other trace minerals. It has been used in foods since 1996.
The company commissioned the tests from Independent Sensory Services. Not only did the assessors prefer the taste and texture of a soy drink containing Aquamin to others using calcium carbonate or tri-calcium phosphate, according Marigot, but it also left behind less sediment in the glass.
"This is a significant finding for manufacturers looking to overcome the traditional problems of unappealing residue in mineral fortified drinks."
More than being just about appearance, the absence of residue means that the consumer is actually ingesting the calcium. A study carried out at Creighton University and published in Nutrition Today in February 2005 found that the calcium actually available in some soy and rice drinks can be as much as 85 percent lower than the amount on the product label, owing to the mineral settling at the bottom of the pack.
The assessors also measured mouth-coating characteristics, viscosity, powdery mouthfeel and astringency.
David O'Leary, commercial manager at Marigot, told NutraIngredients.com that the company is eager to make the most of the opportunities afforded by the growing market for products for the lactose-intolerant.
"We have existing soy customers but we want to grown that business by having independent research carried out to back up Aquamin's superior properties," he said.
The European soy milk market has grown by between 16 and 19 per cent per year for the last four year, according to Euromonitor International, which valued the retail market at €461.6m in 2005.