The flavour and fragrance giant has a collaboration in place with the University of California in Riverside, USA, under which it has access to some 1000 different species varieties, some of which are not commercially available.
The new flavours were developed after a team of flavourists identified over 50 of interest, and analysed them on site and back in the laboratory. The result, the company says, expands its orange offering into new directions.
The new flavours include Gold Nugget, which is said to combine mandarin, lime mango and bergamot notes; Seedless Kishu, described as having hints of melon and pear with orange base notes; and Tarocco, which has hints of pineapple, green mango and a finish of summer berries.
Since citrus are the most popular flavours in beverages, the new additions are expected to be particularly interesting to Givaudan’s customers’ in that category.
“While we’ve looked at many interesting fruit varieties, the objective of this initiative was to identify orange and mandarin varieties with unique, novel flavour attributes that would inspire our flavourists to drive orange flavour in different directions,” global product manager, citrus, Dawn Streich told FoodNavigator.com.
She said that there were initial concerns that the new fruits would all have similar “fresh, juicy” profiles – but in fact, the team found “a broad spectrum of orange characteristics ranging from delicate, green, leafy astringent notes to deeper, lasting red wine or tropical profiles”.
The benefit of the portable approach is that the new flavours can be devised a lot more quickly – in “weeks instead of months”. Givaudan says it can also tailor the flavours’ precise character to customers’ needs.
The flavour team was able to capture the flavour of the fruit on site in California using a portable version of its Virtual Aroma Synthesiser (VAS), known as the mini-VAS.
This tool is said to“combine the human perception of smell with a precise instrumentation to translate a smell to taste”.
When they return to their laboratory, the flavourists are then able to analyse the chemical, and “organoleptically evaluate the prototypes and fine-tune the flavours as needed,” Streich said.
Streich said that focus of the project has been on orange varieties that would enable the development of“new & novel profiles within an acceptable level of disruptiveness” – that is, challenging consumers' existing flavour preferences, but drawing the line before it alienates consumers.
“The mapping was about identifying the existing market space to help us move from ‘what exists’ to ‘what’s next’ in citrus flavours.”
Oranges are not the only citrus
The need to deliver new nuances of orange flavour has not gone unnoticed by other players in the flavour market.
German flavour firm Wild, for instance, announced in June the broadening its offering of citrus flavours with the addition of three exotic fruits to its range: dalandan, kalmansi and yuzu.
The German company's existing citrus operations revolve around oranges and lemons cultivated and processed at its facility in Valencia, Spain. The three new exotic citrus flavours it has added are also intended to meet the desire for new, innovative flavours.
The firm said that global travel means consumers are more exposed to foods from other countries and cultures, and this influences their desire for new tastes.
The dalandan and kalamansi both originate from The Philippines. Dalandan is described as "similar to the tangerine"; kalamansi, meanwhile, also known as calamondin orange, is a naturally-occurring hybrid between a type of tangerine and a type of kumquat. Its taste is said to be "somewhere between a lime and a tangerine".
Yuzu, which originates from Japan, is a small citrus fruit with a tart, refreshing flavour. It is also popular in its home country as a fragrance.