Technology Brews Natural Coffee and Tea Flavors
Sensus LLC, Cincinnati, offers natural coffee and tea flavor essences and extracts for beverage applications. The essences and extracts provide a fresh-brewed flavor. Using an advanced technology based on a spinning cone column, Sensus captures the natural flavor components in coffee and tea at their optimal point of brewing, resulting in the fresh-brewed profile.
The spinning cone column (SCC) is a vertical stainless steel cylinder, which utilizes steam to remove, under vacuum, a vapor stream of volatile compounds from liquids or slurries. The brewed coffee/tea slurry is fed into the top of the column, while the steam for stripping is fed into the bottom and flows upward, passing across the surface of the thin film of slurry, collecting the volatile compounds as it rises.
Fins on the underside of the rotating cones in the column induce a high degree of turbulence into the rising vapor stream. This, along with the turbulent, thin film of liquid and the long vapor and liquid path lengths, leads to the highly efficient transfer of volatiles from the liquid to the vapor stream.
The vapor then flows into the top of the column and passes through a condensing system, which captures the volatiles in a concentrated liquid form. The deflavored slurry is pumped out the bottom of the column and is further processed to remove the insoluble components. This extract is recombined with the concentrated essences, resulting in a superior flavored extract that possesses all of the fresh-brewed flavor of tea or coffee.
The SCC technology offers several advantages. In addition to its efficient capture of flavor volatiles, SCC avoids any thermal damage to the flavors. The column works with unusually high throughput. Overall, the SCC results in economical and efficient collection of the true flavor tonality of coffee and tea and the prevention of undesirable off-notes.
"The dairy and beverage industries are the two areas these flavor extracts and essences find wide applications in," says Dan Wampler, Ph.D., president of Sensus. "Within dairy, the flavors provide fresh-brewed flavor to high-end ice creams, chai beverages, yogurt and fluid milk. Beverage applications include milk-based beverages and ready-to-drink tea beverages. For example, if somebody wanted to make a regular tea or fruit-based tea beverage, we would provide the tea component. Likewise, we would supply the coffee flavor components for coffee-based beverages and dairy products."
Available tea extracts and essences include green, oolong and black. Sensus offers the coffee flavors as a complete line of roasted products.
In addition to using the SCC technology to provide high quality coffee and tea extracts and essences, Sensus focuses on four key areas to provide the highesat flavor quality in terms of freshness and quantity. They are:
Raw materials. Sensus sent its research staff to Brazil (for coffee) and several tea-producing regions to develop a strong understanding of raw material selection and handling.
Real-time processing. This includes roasting, brewing, grinding and processing through the SCC. Tight specifications of the roasting and brewing process, particle size distribution and uniformity maximize flavor removal in the shortest time possible.
Source-point flavor management. Sensus approaches flavor management from the point of roasting through grinding and finally through the flavor removal process where the SCC is utilized. Due to the closed-system ren Preservation of flavor essence and extract. Sensus stores the concentrated flavor essences and extracts under conditions that minimize any change to the overall flavor quality.