Peeling Back the Layers of Flavour Application
Understanding the Base..ics
By Robert Muir
From a flavouring perspective, food products on the supermarket shelves are made up of four main components: a base, sweetener, flavour and flavour enhancers. The base relates to the bulk of the food product which is generally responsible for macronutrient values, final product texture and specialty ingredients. It is crucial to ascertain what functional targets are required from the base as these are often the ill-tasting components that need to be masked.
Consider a basic whey protein blend with Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) added. Whey protein makes up the “bulk” of the base and is the protein source for the final product. Specialty ingredients, such as amino acids, are commonly added to assist with the consumer goal of muscle repair and growth. These ingredients might include: BCAA’s (often quite bitter), Glutamine (often quite salty/savoury) and Carnitine (often sour). Each of these ingredients offer a different challenge when it comes to flavouring, so it is important to have them present from the get go. It is not recommended to add ill-tasting ingredients after the base has been flavoured.
On its own whey protein isn’t texturally appealing, often described as watery or thin. A vegetable gum, such as Guar Gum, is usually added to improve mouthfeel and create a creamy final product. Lecithin is another alternative which can improve the solubility of the milk fats in water, remove powdery lumps and reduce the risk of the product splitting. Michaelona consistently has great results with our Gum Replacer (MTP-006598), a unique blend of gums which provide a superior mouthfeel.
If your base is meeting the functional needs of the product and the texture is acceptable, then CONGRATULATIONS! You have finalised your base and you are ready to move onto the next step of product development process. Check out the next article in the series, it is pretty sweet.
Next article: http://michaelona.com.au/lets-sweeten-the-deal/