The Brabrand R&D campus, purpose-built for sweet and culinary flavour creation, is getting an upgrade with the opening of two new labs: one for culinary and one for sweet flavour creation.
The campus is IFF’s largest innovation centre in Europe, housing its culinary, dairy and bakery pilot plants. It currently employs more than 400 people, who work in research, application, development, ingredient, and flavour creation.
By increasing focus on flavour creation for Europe, IFF believes the investment puts it in a ‘unique’ position to optimise product designs through ingredient and flavour synergies.
Culinary and sweet flavours
In adding the two labs, IFF says it is creating the ‘perfect environment’ for end-to-end product design in partnership with food and beverage companies in the
“For example, we’re improving our solutions for the plant-based meat alternative industry: last year, we opened our Culinary Design Center in Brabrand and in parallel, we’ve invested in our on-site moisture extrusion (HME) capabilities,” Jan Bechtel, European Regional President, Nourish, told FoodNavigator.
“HME provides higher juiciness and more fibre than comparable processes and is often used to help plant-based products mimic the taste and texture of meat and seafood. With the new Culinary Flavour Lab, one approach we are exploring is embedding flavours into the extrusion process – delivering a superior product for our customers and consumers.”
In the Sweet Flavour Lab, IFF will explore ‘healthier yet indulgent’ recipe formulations. Its taste modulation technologies will play a ‘key role’ as the company looks into ways of improving the taste and texture of ice cream with lower sugar content.
“In addition, with our ‘second to none’ vanilla flavour capabilities, there will be a lot of exciting opportunities to innovate,” said Bechtel.
What’s trending in flavour creation?
IFF prides itself on being an ‘insights-led’ innovator, meaning that it kickstarts innovation with ‘what’s trending’ amongst consumers. Based on that information, the company develops a portfolio of solutions to help food and beverage manufacturers meet market needs, explained Laurens Reider, creative director, Europe, Nourish Division at IFF.
One area where flavour innovation plays a ‘major role’ is in the design of no to low alcohol beverages, we were told. “There’s also a clear consumer demand for products with a more recognisable or transparent ingredients label.”
IFF has also observed a ‘much stronger’ focus on health and wellness amongst consumers. “In the overall formulation of a product, the way you work with flavours can play a major role in addressing each of these consumer needs.
“For example, our latest concepts included a zero-alcohol elderflower champagne type beverage and a plant-based parmesan crostini.”
As to which types of new flavours we should expect to come out of the labs in the coming year, IFF revealed its ‘biggest’ focus areas are plant-based food and beverages; low to no alcohol beverages; upcycled flavours; and sugar, fat and salt reduction.