by Donald E. Pszczola
A new approach, developed by Cargill, Booth 6039, enables beverage manufacturers to deliver better-tasting, reduced-calorie products. With this approach, which integrates patent-pending technology, application capabilities, and ingredients (texturizers, sweeteners, and flavors) from the company’s diverse portfolio, reduced-calorie solutions, TasteWise™, are created to provide the right balance between desired sweetness and enhanced mouthfeel.
The secret to delivering a superior taste experience to consumers is in optimizing the balance between texture, sweetness, and mouthfeel, explained Andy del Rosal, Team Leader of Cargill’s North American beverage application scientists. When producing reduced-calorie beverages, manufacturers typically lower sugar content. To compensate for losing sweetness, it is common to add zero- or mid-calorie high-intensity sweeteners and taste-modifying flavors. Although this effectively addresses the loss of sweetness, the resulting beverage is likely to deliver a thinner mouthfeel and a different taste profile.
Using its new approach, Cargill claims to remedy this problem, as the company explained in a presentation given at a Special Events Pavilion (Booth 8153) on Monday, June 13, 10:30–11:30 a.m. Brian Guthie, Research Fellow in Cargill’s Global Food Research Group, and del Rosal delivered the presentation, “Great Science Meets Great Taste: A Revolutionary New Approach for Formulating Great-Tasting Reduced-Calorie Beverages,” which reported on the preliminary results of Cargill’s multi-year research and development program to understand how beverage ingredients interact to affect taste, sweetness, and mouthfeel to ultimately drive overall consumer liking.
The presentation then described the company’s new approach for optimizing taste in reduced-calorie beverages such as a zero-calorie lemon-lime soda. According to Cargill, it uses “tribology” (the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion) to more accurately mimic and measure what goes on inside the mouth when a beverage is consumed. The company emphasizes that it is a pioneer in the use of tribology in the food and beverage industry, and through its use can predict and shape mouthfeel with an accuracy previously unknown in the industry.
“With this new approach, Cargill not only provides the ingredients to achieve desired sweetness and enhanced mouthfeel, but the science and expertise to achieve the right balance,” said del Rosal. “This is the culmination of years of scientific research to help our customers develop reduced-calorie beverages that also taste great.” Sensory and consumer testing of Cargill’s measurement and ingredient technology, conducted at North Carolina State University’s Sensory Science Center, validates the connection between key mouthfeel sensations and consumer liking.
The new approach also helps customers to save time and reduce costs. TasteWise™ reduced-calorie solutions helps speed product development through the utilization of its special prediction capabilities and new ingredient components. These components may include new texturizing blends that make possible the use of less sweeteners or other ingredients to achieve the same mouthfeel; the use of sweetener developments such as stevia-based, zero-calorie sweetener Truvia; and the use of taste enhancing and masking flavors. At Cargill’s booth, attendees are able to take the TasteWise challenge to see if they can tell which lemon-lime soda is zero-calorie.
Cargill has filed several patents on its TasteWise reduced-calorie solutions, and is working to extend its capabilities into food products including dressings, sauces, and soups.