New citrus flavour doubles up as an antimicrobial agent

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carbon dioxide Bacteria Microbiology

Lanxess has developed a new natural citrus flavour for US soft drinks that it claims targets shelf life as well as taste buds.

The active ingredient, called Natural Choice, combines citrus oil, lecithin and beeswax to add a lemony twang to drinks and help prevent the growth of certain microbes.

Presented for the first time at the BevTech exhibition in Florida last week, Lanxess said the ingredient, with its citrus base, is especially suited to lemony beverages, such as isotonic drinks and lemonades.

But Ingo Broda, head of beverage technology at Lanxess, told that that other flavours may be used alongside the ingredient.

Broda said: “Natural Choice can be seen as an add-on to the normal ingredients of a beverage.”

Supporting role

Natural Choice is not designed to be used alone as an aid to keep beverages on the shelf for longer. Lanxess said the anti-microbial role of the ingredient is to prevent recontamination by holding down bacteria, such as Lactobacillus brevis.

Broda said, for example, that in multi-serve bottles, Natural Choicem can help keep a beverage stable.

The German company is launching Natural Choice in the US market first but is looking to target other regions in due course.

Ingo Broda, head of beverage technology at Lanxess, told “We are looking at countries that have a comparable market and regulatory structure as the US.”

Natural Choice is manufactured by the Material Protection Products business unit of Lanxess – a major specialty chemcials company and producer of synthetic rubber.

Lanxess is already present in the drinks industry as the producer of Velcorin – a microbial control agent for cold fill and HTST pasteurised non-alcoholic drinks and wines. The ingredient degrades completely in formulation leaving a small amount of methanol and carbon dioxide.

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