The company claims it has engineered its controlled release technology to contribute to flavour retention, because the flavours are not 'baked-off' or distilled. Seasoning crackers and savoury biscuits have large surface areas and are baked at high temperatures where steam evaporation and distillation of flavour often occurs.
The CR technology builds a hardened vegetable oil microfilm protecting the flavouring, from cheese & onion to sun-dried tomato, that is not released in the baking process until temperatures around 60-65oC.
"Our encapsulation process basically solves the problem of flavour retention and makes it really easy for manufacturers to bake-in any combination of flavour," comments Roger Sinton, managing director of TasteTech.
Although not into double-digit growth, the market for flavoured crackers in the UK is growing at about five per cent a year.
Leading cracker maker Jacob's has extended its portfolio, beyond the traditional Cream Crackers to include variants such as Flavour Selection, Mediterranean Selection, and Herbs & Spice.
The brand range is said to be worth £33 million (€47.8m), and Danone-owned Jacob's claims the brand is growing slightly ahead of the UK market. The Flavour Range has shown year-on-year value growth of 7.1 per cent, said the firm, citing IRI data.
Last year TasteTech adapted its CR technology to enable natural colourings of paprika and tumeric, used increasingly by food makers due to the growing popularity of ethnic foods, to survive the harsh conditions of an acidic low pH dressing.
"Artificial colourings are robust and stable, whereas natural colourings, such as paprika and tumeric, are more susceptible," Derek Pulford, technical liaison manager at TasteTech said to FoodNavigator.com.
A protective microfilm of vegetable oil stops the delicate colourings from being attacked by the acidity, that would otherwise turn the colours from bright orange to pale yellow.