Consumer research from Puratos, which supplies ingredients for the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors, has highlighted the importance consumers now place on the experiences that come with their food purchases.
‘If taste is king, experience is queen,’ the company declared when it detailed the findings of its Tate Tomorrow survey, which gathers data from over 17,000 consumers across 40 countries.
“One trend which emerged from the survey was the growing importance of texture. For consumers, texture is now the new taste”, Puratos CEO Daniel Malcorps explained.
Responding to this need, the company is rolling out Smoobees, a new line of inclusions that produce a complex sensorial, visual, textural and taste experience.
Smoobees are soft beads that offer a ‘creamy texture’ while ensuring ‘rich taste’, Puratos explained. It also offers bakers a new flavour plate to play with.
“Through Smoobees, we have transformed this trend into a real-world innovation that can easily be used in a professional baking environment,” Malcorps continued.
Overcoming technical challenges
Smoobees have been developed to overcome some of the technical challenges that adding fillings, fresh fruits or other inclusions presents. There is no need for specialist equipment such as injection technologies or frozen storage and the addition of the ingredient does not lead to limited bake stability. And while other inclusions, such as dried fruit or chocolate chunks, can dry out baked goods over time, Puratos claimed Smoobees add ‘extra indulgence, freshness’ and moisture.
“Existing inclusions often fail to deliver the desired flavour intensity or the wanted natural flavour profile patissiers are looking for. With Smoobees, we can now imagine including any kind of flavour inside cakes, opening the creative potential for new creations,” added Boris Willo, head of patissiers at Puratos.
Inspired by molecular gastronomy
Puratos says it wants to ‘re-invent indulgence’ and is continuously looking for inspiration outside the current sector norms.
The concept of Smoobees has its origins in molecular gastronomy, a sub-discipline of food science that seeks to investigate the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking. Puratos said molecular gastronomy has ‘long’ seen chefs experiment with capturing different flavours in spheres, resulting in new sensorial experiences for their consumers.
Puratos was able to adapt this idea to the needs of patisserie producers, making it easy for them to use in their production process.
The new inclusion are launching in three different flavours - lemon, blueberry, and caramel - across various European countries.