Market research often reminds manufacturers that a healthy food or beverage product will do well only if it meets the taste requirements of the target consumer. This is true in the ASEAN market.
Achieving the balance between flavour and good nutrition has always been a challenge for formulators. But there are many taste solutions for every kind of nutritional product, and the process of choosing the right one is not as difficult as before when manufacturers understand what they need and have a reliable partner to help them develop their products.
Kerry for instance is invested in scientific research for nutritional solutions, ensuring that ingredients deliver benefits such as digestive health, immune health, and bone health.
Dr Aoife Marie Murphy (PhD), a nutrition scientist at Kerry says, “We understand how nutritional needs change throughout life, from infancy to old age. For example, protein requirements increase in older adults to help build and protect strength and mobility.
Dr Aoife Marie Murphy (PhD), nutrition scientist, Kerry
However, appetite and sensory attributes decline with age, therefore providing a high protein solution that appeals to older adults in terms of taste is essential for a product to succeed. Immunity, digestive health, muscle, bone and joint, cognitive health also begin to decline with ageing, and functional foods, beverages and supplements that are proven to support these need states are a growing opportunity in the healthy ageing market.”
Mr Gordon Eng, who is the general manager for Taste, APAC, concurs, saying that Kerry also provides manufacturers with the flavour advantage. “Adding to Kerry's nutrition and functional offerings is TasteSense™, a portfolio of taste solutions that balances nutrition in products to meet evolving consumer demands, while retaining the taste and textures they love,” Mr Eng says.
TasteSense™ can offer more than just organoleptic benefits. According to Mr Eng, it
· Delivers consumer-preferred taste where plant-based ingredients, fortification, natural and artificial sweetening agents (stevia & high intensity sweeteners) are added.
· Is highly versatile in a variety of food and beverage applications.
· Optimises the taste, aroma and mouthfeel of food and beverage products, improving overall consumer taste appeal.
· Is a clean-label natural flavour
Many F&B manufacturers struggle in meeting specific sensory qualities during formulation. According to Mr Eng, mouthfeel and masking are driven by specific developments in:
Sugar reduction With government regulations on low sugar and consumers moving towards healthier lifestyles, manufacturers are under increasing pressure to reduce their products’ sugar content.
Fat reduction As consumers look to control fat intake, reducing fat requires mouthfeel correction as fat plays a pivotal role in mouthfeel and gives body to the product.
Alternative dairy Increasing interest in free-from diets and vegetarian/vegan lifestyles drives consumer demand for alternative dairy. This is an opportunity to improve mouthfeel in products that lack the roundness of animal proteins.
Fortification Consumers are looking for food and beverage products to enhance their health. The addition of nutrients leads to challenges around maintaining the palatability of products.
ProDiem Refresh plant proteins enable beverage developers to produce tasty protein-filled clear beverages.
Functionalising snacks and drinks
Even when indulging, consumers are impressed when commonly consumed foods and easy to eat snacks including biscuits, chips, dried fruit, popcorn, and baked products are made healthier in some way, whether it's in the choice of ingredients, or how these products are processed. The past few months has especially put probiotics and other healthful ingredients in the spotlight, according to market research. In Southeast Asia there is a very high demand for yogurt, dairy, and products containing probiotics which improve gut health, immunity, and absorption of nutrients.
"Kerry's RD&A team works to ensure that the functional benefits and taste of our solutions are applied properly across categories, from beverage, bakery to snacks and dairy," Dr Murphy says.“We support our customers to innovate with probiotics. GanedenBC30® is Kerry's unique probiotic that provides superior viability compared to other probiotic strains in a wide range of applications beyond the traditional dairy category,” she says.
"GanedenBC30® been shown to provide digestive health, immune health and protein utilisation benefits. Unlike other probiotic strains, it is a spore-former, which makes it highly stable and allows it to remain viable throughout most manufacturing processes and in the low pH of stomach acid. Well-researched and easy to formulate into functional food and beverage products, GanedenBC30® is backed by over 25 published papers."
Kerry offers unique solutions to create differentiated beverages and foods to meet consumer demand in the functional space. Besides GanedenBC30® there's its dairy and plant protein expertise with Ultranor™ and ProDiem™ as well as Wellmune®.
Wellmune® is a natural food, beverage and supplement ingredient that's scientifically supported to help strengthen the immune system. A proprietary baker's yeast beta 1,3/1,6 glucan, Wellmune® makes it easier for people of all ages to be well and stay well. Wellmune® is backed by over a dozen clinical studies, is a patented and award-winning global brand, is Kosher, Halal, gluten-free, non-allergenic and non-GMO, and is safe for everyday consumption, with broad regulatory approvals.
ProDiem™ Complete uses proprietary processing techniques and Kerry's flavour masking technology to address the mouthfeel and taste challenge traditionally associated with plant proteins. ProDiem™ Complete provides smaller particles for better dispersibility and mouthfeel, reducing graininess and gritty texture with a clean taste. A complementary combination of pea and rice proteins improves the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), delivering a solution with a complete essential amino acid profile similar to milk or egg protein (PDCAAS =1). ProDiem™ Complete is suitable for many food and beverage applications.
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