Flavor firm uses nanotechnology for new ingredient solutions

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flavor Taste

Blue Pacific Flavors has entered into an exclusive partnership with
nano processing firm MicroFluides, a move the company says will
allow it to create new food solutions that combine the science of
taste receptor technology and nano process engineered food

The firm, which presented its new Taste Nanology process at the IFT in Orlando this month, claims the system allows food and beverage manufacturers to develop products with an improved taste and texture, while also potentially reducing costs.

Blue Pacific Flavors is marketing the technology in combination with its StabilEase functional flavor system, which claims to offer beverages shelf stability without the threat of ringing or separation. This also allows for the addition of functional ingredients into products, while avoiding a number of the technical barriers normally associated with this, said the firm.

The natural flavor enhancer StabilEase claims to protect dairy and soy proteins from agglomerating when acidified.

Until recently, developers have had to rely solely on using soy protein isolates or skim milk powder with texturant ingredients such as pectin and gum stabilizers to keep proteins from agglomerating when combined with juice or fruit ingredients. And by limiting the level of milk or soy protein that can be kept stable before the beverage, food makers are in danger of creating a slippery, uncharacteristic mouth feel, explained Blue Pacific.

But using StabilEase can allow beverage developers to engineer shelf stable, homogeneous, acidified milk and soy based beverages for PET, glass, or plastic bottles without worrying about separation, said the firm.

This means that more acids- or fruit ingredients- can be added to the product, giving it brighter fruit notes.

And now with its functional platform for Taste Nanology- Functional Active Nanology- the company claims manufacturers can also add active ingredients like antioxidants, polyphenols, minerals and micronutrients without any undesirable offtastes.

This is because the active ingredients are concentrated and flavored to block astringency and bitterness by using Blue Pacific's B-blocking natural flavors to specific taste receptor sites. The result is less bitterness and astringency in the finished application, said the company.

"The smaller particle sizes are easier to encapsulate with other components to protect them either from oxidation or from getting to the taste receptor site. We're currently working with a company on eliminating the bitter taste of fruit polyphenols,"​ said the company's general manager Walter Postelwait.

The process also offers the possibility of using less of the functional ingredients, according to Blue Pacific.

"Because the particle sizes are smaller, it is easier for the system to digest these as functional ingredients, and it can absorb more of them. This means manufacturers can reduce the amount of functional ingredients used and still get the same result,"​ Postelwait told FoodNavigator-USA.com.

The process also promises to cut costs, said the firm, although this depends on the application.

"Nano processing will save one of our beverage clients between 15 and 20 percent of their total manufacturing costs, while keeping the quality of their product equal to or better than their existing product,"​ said Postelwait.

Taste Nanology and StabilEase can also be used together to reduce the fat content of products such as ice cream, from around 14 percent to 6 percent, said Blue Pacific. This works by creating a tighter matrix that reduces the size of ice crystals, which then allows for a creamier, smoother product with better freeze/thaw stability.

Blue Pacific is confident its new process will create the "next generation of food solutions."

"We feel this will be a major shift in the industry on how to create good processed foods that can achieve better taste and stability and also allow for the addition of more functional ingredients. There are a lot of unique things this will do,"​ said Postelwait.

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