Think Soy Drinks

Advances in flavor and application technology that can help formulators develop great-tasting beverages were discussed by George Rakes, director of applied technology at The Solae Company. According to a HealthFocus International survey in 2005, 35% of shoppers are aware of soy's cancer prevention and cholesterol reducing benefits.

Consumer interest in higher-protein beverages for general wellness, weight management and performance nutrition have made the addition of soy to beverages attractive from a consumer-marketing standpoint.

Different beverage systems have different functional requirements that soy proteins must meet to deliver against consumer expectations for flavor, mouthfeel and nutrition. Thus, different soy proteins designed for beverage applications will display different functional characteristics, depending on the end beverage application. Manufacturers are using whole soybean extract, soy flour, soy protein concentrate (>70% protein), high-solubility soy protein concentrate (>80% protein) and isolated soy protein (>90% protein, ISP) as key products i-n formulating beverages, where they are useful at improving viscosity, emulsion capability, foaming and solubility.

Soy proteins are best hydrated when shear is high and warm water is used. For the best hydration, Rakes recommends first dispersing protein powder into 21° to 60°C water. Next, break apart lumps using a high-shear mixing system and then heat the protein slurry to between 72° to 82°C and hold for 10 to 15 minutes with continued mixing.

Soy proteins can be formulated successfully into a number of beverage systems, including dry-blended beverages (DBB), ready-to-drink acidic (RTD-A) and neutral (RTD-N) beverages.

A consistent density of powdered soy protein is critical in DBB. New technology like agglomerated/lecithinated ISP provides better dispersability and cleaner flavor in DBBs. DBBs generally have a higher protein content (10-25g/serving) than RTD-N beverages, which typically contain 7-15g/serving. Controlled viscosity and thermally stable non-gel soy proteins are most suitable for RTD-N formulations. RTD-A beverages contain on average 1-7g of protein/serving. Optimizing soy protein, stabilizers and the process system is key to reducing sedimentation and improving mouthfeel in RTD-A beverages.

Better soy application flavor technology is a result of understanding key soy flavor attributes, using soy protein sensory profiling combined with consumer acceptance testing in applications and good working relationships with flavor houses experienced in flavoring applications containing soy protein.

“Use and Functionality of Soy Proteins in Beverages,” George Rakes, The Solae Company,,

Beverage Acidulants

There is more to acidulants than pursed and puckered lips. Acidulant combinations create authentic fruit flavor profiles, while lowering the total cost of sourness due to the sourness additive effect. Developers save time by narrowing the selection of beverage acidulants using qualitative screens such as taste and flavor effects, physiochemical properties, acid strength and participation in calcium salt precipitation for calcium-fortified beverages. Each acidulant is unique in terms of sourness, astringency, pH effects and chemical irritation, explained Daniel R. Sortwell, senior food scientist, Bartek Ingredients Inc.

At times, a specific pH is needed to inhibit microbial growth, avoid precipitation or achieve certain flavor effects. The weaker the acid, the higher the level of acid required to lower the pH of a beverage system to a given value. Phosphoric acid and sodium acid sulfate lower pH with a minimal increase in sourness. Knowing the desired sourness of the food or beverage is just as important as knowing the pH because the most sour acid at one pH may be the least sour acid at another pH.

The sourness of citric acid dissipates quickly, a sensation often described as refreshing. It is the primary acidulant in most beverages. On the other hand, malic acid provides a more persistent sourness and, therefore, balances the persistent sweetness of aspartame and sucralose, even when used as a secondary acidulant.

All fruits contain malic acid and, as a result, malic acid enhances fruit flavors, especially citrus flavors such as orange and lemon-lime. It also blends together discordant flavor notes, creating a smoother, more rounded flavor. Tartaric and fumaric acids are more astringent than the other acidulants and are used in grape, cranberry and tamarind beverages for this reason. Dairy-and-fruit beverages, such as yogurt smoothies, benefit from lactic acid, which provides a cream flavor note.

With the exception of fumaric acid, which is a non-hygroscopic solid, all beverage acidulants are highly soluble in water. Acidulants affect calcium salt precipitation in calcium-fortified beverages. Malic acid stabilizes dissolved calcium. A specific order of addition can increase the rate of solution: the addition of benzoates first, then acidulants and, lastly, aspartame, calcium salts and other ingredients.

“Selection of Beverage Acidulants,” Daniel R. Sortwell, Bartek Ingredients Inc.,,

Beverage Fortification

Consumer demand is driving product formulators down a burgeoning road paved with functional ingredients. With the advent and quick dominance of fortified waters and energy drinks, beverages quickly have become a vehicle for fulfilling a market need with a viable product, says Hugh Lippman, PhD, senior product innovation scientist at Seltzer Nutritional Technologies.

“Understanding the fortification architecture of beverage systems is imperative to the short lead times demanded in the first-to-market atmosphere of the nutraceutical industry,” says Lippman. Maintaining forticant integrity and the palatability of the beverage depends on understanding several factors, including matrix pH, solubility, flavor and color interactions, and environmental exposure during manufacturing.

Nutrient classes are divided into vitamins (vitamin C), minerals (calcium), botanicals (Garcinia cambogia) and boutique macros (omega-3 fatty acids). Processing influences sensory characteristics such as taste, texture and smell, along with bioavailability, which dictates nutrient interactions, solubility and packaging. It also affects nutrient content. Exposure time to elements of the environment, such as air, moisture, temperature and sheer can affect nutrient personality. The chemical nature of the matrix, such as pH, water activity (Aw), transition metals and oxygen, also influences the stability of the nutrient. For example, iron can cause rancidity in dairy products.

The properties of beverage types, the influence of auxiliary components on a forticant's integrity and delivery, and an understanding of both the research and development and manufacturing processes are integral to the success of fortifying a consumer-friendly beverage.

Encapsulation, oxygen-impermeable packaging and chelating agents reduce nutrient oxidation. Encapsulation enhances mineral and botanical solubility, assures nutrient aesthetics and protects nutrients from the environment.

Healthy fats, like omega-3s and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), are carriers for fat-soluble nutrients. However, emulsions are needed to maintain the stability of such ingredients. Insoluble minerals reduce impact on pH, taste and color, while soluble minerals react with the matrix. A balance of dosage and form can prevent sedimentation, discoloration and flavor. Proteins provide satiation. Fiber, which contributes to flavor and mouthfeel, has a demonstrated effect on plasma cholesterol reduction and may help prevent carcinogenesis in some organ systems.

Labeling claims for nutrients are broken up into three categories. Source claims, such as “A good source of…,” are made in relation to the recommended daily allowances (RDA). Qualified and unqualified health claims are FDA-approved and related to disease. Structure/function claims are made in relation to their normal role, such as “Calcium builds bones.”

“Beverage Fortification,” Hugh E. Lippman, Seltzer Nutritional Technologies,,

Sipping Soluble Fiber

Digestion-resistant maltodextrin (DRM) is a tasteless, odorless and colorless ingredient that contains 90+% water-soluble dietary fibers (DF) by analysis (AOAC 2001.03). This makes the product fully compatible for DF labeling and the application of various nutrient content and related structure-function claims, proffered L. Steven Young, PhD, principal of Steven Young Worldwide. DRM also is inherently stable to high acid and high heat and, thus, compatible with all processing conditions. As a water-soluble dietary fiber, DRM has multiple nutritional benefits for beverages of all types.

DRM is made by purposeful conversion of a portion of the digestible chemical bonds in cornstarch into non-digestible chemical bonds. After removing impurities (i.e., digestibles), the product is refined, dried and available for use. The result is a product GRAS as “maltodextrin” but 90+% resistant to human digestion, with low viscosity, ultra-low sugar content (<5%) and, thus, an ultra-low (<5) glycemic index. Water-white solutions are possible at DRM levels compatible with all nutrient content and structure/function claims available. Since the digestion-resistant bonds in DRM are found in nature and created by “natural” processes, DRM is compatible with most industrial definitions of natural.

DRM has a low dextrose equivalent (DE), low-to-no sweetness, high solubility and results in clear transparent solutions. Colorless, flavorless and odorless, DRM does not interfere with added or naturally occurring flavors or colors and is stable to heat and acid.

DRM is fermented only partially in the large intestine. About 10% is absorbed in the small intestine, with 50% fermented in the colon and 40% excreted. This results in a variety of physiological benefits, including healthful serum glucose and insulin levels (via ultra-low glycemic index), serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels, fat deposition and healthful levels of beneficial intestinal microflora. DRM has limited laxation effects but does help maintain healthful regularity, and no excess gas or acid is formed. DRM does not interfere with absorption of other nutrients.

Further, effects of DRM taste can be subtle but significant. DRM can positively modify the taste/aftertaste of such ingredients as high-intensity sweeteners, soy-based ingredients, botanicals and other nutraceuticals.

DRM is compatible with all beverage process conditions, including liquid or dry mixes, still or carbonated beverages and retort, hot fill, pasteurized, refrigerated, ESL or aseptic products. Fortified carbonated beverages, water-white “near waters,” juice drinks, and dairy drinks all can feature up to 100% of the daily value of DF per serving without affecting the viscosity, taste or flavor of the beverage.

“Digestion-resistant Maltodextrin 90% Water Soluble Dietary Fiber: For High-fiber; Sugar-free; No-sugar-added; Low-carb, Nutritionally Effica-cious Beverages,” Dr. L. Steven Young, Steven Young Worldwide,,

Fat-soluble Vitamin Fortification

The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K and the carotenoids are chemically sensitive molecules based on the 5-carbon isoprene unit. All of the fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids have virtually no solubility in water, and are sensitive to oxygen and light. Due to their insolubility in water and chemically unstable nature, the right product formulation is required to provide ease of use, even distribution and increased stability to chemical degradation. “For example, microencapsulation can render these difficult-to-handle nutrients readily dispersible in water or dry food blends,” says John Foley, Sr., technical service representative of BASF Corporation. Such formulations can greatly improve stability and bioavailability of the nutrients and also allow for modification of other properties such as color.

Only a handful of the carotenoids have vitamin A activity, while most are capable of producing a yellow to red color in foods and beverages. Carotenoids and vitamin A can have an impact on the odor and taste of the product in beverage applications, while vitamins D, E and K have little effect at levels typically encountered in fortified foods and beverages. Vitamin E as alpha-tocopheryl acetate is the most chemically stable of this group of nutrients. Technical problems with this vitamin typically occur in certain beverage systems where many commercially offered products have a tendency to “cream” to the surface of the beverage over time due to low density of the vitamin and an insufficiently small (>900nm) oil droplet size. Products that overcome this are typically based on a “solubilizate” technology, which utilizes a small molecule surfactant to solubilize water-insoluble vitamin E. The resulting vitamin E and surfactant mixed micelle are less than 10nm in diameter. This type of product provides excellent physical stability and superior clarity for beverage systems.

While specialty products such as solubilizates and emulsions are used, microencapsulated products dominate food and beverage applications of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids.

“Fortification of Beverages and Foods with Fat-soluble Antioxidant Vitamins and Carotenoids,” John Foley, BASF,,


R&D “Revs Up” for 2006!

Following on the heels of PFs' successful 2005 R&D Conference, the second annual R&D conference is now in the planning stages. Renamed the 2006 Prepared Foods' R&D Applications Seminars, a more direct focus will be made on new product applications. Information will be provided on how products are formulated. Specific ingredient benefits, including use levels and interactions with other ingredients and food components will be provided. For more information, go to