Matrix Loaded Flavor
CapLock™ flavors from International Flavors & Fragrances (Dayton, N.J.), dissolve readily in hot or cold water, yet they resist moisture absorption during storage and handling. This results in long shelflife for the flavors. Citrus flavors, which are primarily oil-based and prone to oxidation, can now have a shelflife of 24 months. Savory flavors, like chicken or beef, also demonstrate excellent stability.
“We use a proprietary extrusion technology specially designed for the food industry,” says Mike Popplewell, director, delivery systems, IFF R&D. “It retains more of the top notes because the process doesn't remove water. Also, it produces denser, larger particles than does spray drying, so there is less opportunity for diffusion.” Standard particle size ranges are 250-850 microns for the extruded beverage flavors, compared to 50-100 microns for spray-dried flavors.
Popular applications for CapLock sweet flavors include beverages, candies, baked goods and chewing gum. Savory foods include dry soup mixes and sauces, batters and breadings, snacks and savory baked goods.
Temperature ChallengesDifferent flavor matrix designs deliver flavor according to the needs of specific food systems and processing conditions. For example, flavors for powdered beverage mixes, instant ice tea powders and tea leaves are designed to dissolve instantly in hot or cold water. Yet, the matrix is designed to protect the flavors against moisture, oxidation and loss of volatiles during flavor storage and product shelflife.
“This is particularly important for powdered beverage mixes, which are popular during the hot summer months, and which may be consumed in parts of the globe with very hot, humid climates,” says Ton Mesters, vice president, global business development, beverages, at IFF.
Flavored leaf tea also poses problems in terms of breaking down, due to humidity. Encapsulated citrus, berry or mint flavors are packaged in tea bags along with tea leaves, waiting to release their flavor in hot water. CapLock flavors in tea bags show excellent resistance to bag spotting in high humidity shelflife trials.
High Melt, a more heat stable matrix, is good for hard or chewy candy, which involves aqueous systems heated to high temperatures. “We can provide fun entertainment for kids—extreme confections,” says Mesters. “Particles can be made to give a discrete burst of flavor, color and acid in hard candy.” This is accomplished by encapsulating colors and acidulants along with the flavor. The particles look like colorful confetti in the candy, and deliver flavor and acid in the mouth.
Matrix MaterialsSugar-free matrices are specially designed for sugar-free gum and confectionery applications. The matrix components are sugar-free and contain no cariogenic components.
IFF continues to develop CapLock systems applicable to other food products as well, including a system that dissolves very slowly in an aqueous environment in order to maintain flavors in baked goods or batters.
Other advantages of the flavors benefit processors at work in the plant. “The particles are strong enough that they won't fall apart or dust during blending,” says Mesters. “They are less dusty because particle sizes are larger; they have greater density and very little porosity. In the manufacturing environment, there is less odor contamination. The matrices are good at preventing diffusion, and they prevent oxygen from getting inside the particles.”