Citrus is an important taste profile in beverages, however the fruit category can be challenging to work with.
Scarce resources can disrupt global citrus supply chain, according to IFF, and market volatility continues to make it difficult to meet consumer demand. At the same time, from a functionality perspective, citrus oils can add additional challenges to flavour design with regard to stability and solubility.
In response, IFF has developed a line of citrus flavours entirely free of citrus-derived molecules, fractions and oils.
“We’re alleviating global citrus sourcing challenges, offering our customers great-tasting, natural flavours that are more readily available,” said Karel Coosemans, global leader for IFF’s Re-Master Citrus innovation programme. “Our game-changing supply stability also removes the price volatility commonly seen with citrus-derived products.”
The new range of flavours has been coined NEO, standing for ‘no essential oil’. Its compositions rely solely on ‘natural’ molecules to deliver the citrus taste, explained Coosemans.
“Akin to many 21st century natural flavours for other fruit tonalities, it is an avant-garde way of delivering citrus taste, while still surprisingly recognisable.”
This is not the first time IFF has worked to mimic fruit flavour profiles. Indeed, it’s common practice across the sector, suggested the citrus innovation lead. “Our industry already has many natural flavour solutions that do not depend on raw materials from the named fruit.
“This, however, has always been difficult to achieve for citrus tonalities.”
IFF leveraged consumer insights from around the globe to develop a range of flavours adapted to specific taste profiles in each region. The company has already seen ‘great’ performance in beverages, confectionery, and even-plant-based products.
IFF NEO delivers potential benefits of higher concentration, different solvent systems used, increased solubility and stability, Coosemans continued.
FoodNavigator sought to determine if IFF NEO is more environmentally sustainable than flavours using essential oils. “What we do know is that IFF NEO helps to relieve a reliance on citrus oils,” the citrus innovation lead responded, “and therefore we make the industry less dependent on harvest quality, transportation, and processing.”