Dispatches from IFT

Treatt launches honey distillates for low-cal treats

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Honey, Flavor

Treatt is extending the options for manufacturers that want to make honey flavoured products but without extra sugar or calories – and without having to deal with bulk quantities of sticky real honey.

The flavour and fragrance ingredient supplier already had two honey distillates in its range – intense Honey Treattarome 9801 for beverage and dairy applications, and Sugar Treattarome 9807, which has an authentic, sweet flavor.

The new additions extend the options to more subtle flavours and more applications. Called Honey Treattarome 9802 and 9804, the former is described as having a mild flavour and “dark smoky back-end notes” ​and the latter as light and floral with delicate top notes.

Source and process

The water distillates are derived from fresh honey that is sourced from collectors in the US with their own hives. Hugo Bovill, managing director of Treatt, told FoodNavigator.com at the IFT expo in Anaheim, California last week that honey is usually graded by colour – but for him the flavour components are far more important.

The flavour components are extracted from the honey using a proprietary steam process, and the flavour is standardised.

“We have to standardise,”​ said Bovill, joking that “sometimes it is hard to get the workers to cooperate, as bees don’t always go to the flower we want them to.”

The flavour can be controlled to a certain extent, however, as bees only go so far from their hive. If beekeepers know that if there are certain plants in the vicinity the honey will be the similar.

The nuances in natural honey are extremely complex, and when a human eats honey, they do not experience the full flavour profile.

“When we eat honey we chew once or twice then swallow. Honey has a complex matrix, there is a lot of flavour in the honeycomb. We don’t chew it for long enough to get all the flavour out.”

Uses

The distillates supplied by Treatt have no calories or nutritional value, which makes them very useful in healthy products. Bovill said there is a big market in cereals, such as honey puffs. Other uses include baked goods and confectionery, and alcoholic and soft beverages.

The minimum usage level for the two new distillates is 25ppm, but pound-for-pound it works out cheaper than using real honey – and the distillates are said to be more convenient, too.

Bulk honey is terrible to handle, Bovill said, and expensive to ship. The extract, on the other hand, has the same consistency as water and can be added directly at the bottling plant.

Treattarome

All the ingrdients in Treatt’s Treattarome range are FTNF – ‘from the named food’. Other flavours in the range include peppers, tamarind, fruit and sugar.

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