Despite the focus on healthier eating, Americans continue to buy full-flavored foods. Their grocery carts still carry full-fat ice cream, butter, sugary baked goods and fatty meats.

In the race to sell the most good-for-you products, companies that deliver on flavor will be the winners. Knowing this, Comax Flavors (Melville, N.Y.) compiled an extensive line of new flavors to potentiate sweetness and mouthfeel while minimizing off-notes. Supported by its in-house manufacturing capabilities and team of expert chemists, the company is in position to help developers meet consumer demand for better-tasting, better-for-you products.

Behind the Mask

Comax's line of specialty flavors includes bitterness blockers and masks to disguise glycerin burn, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and proteins. “Virtually every challenge to mask something is unique, depending on the product and what we have to mask,” says Norman Katz, vice president of sales at Comax. “We sell dozens of different masking flavors, and we feel we have developed some unique technologies in this area that sets us apart from our competitors.”

For example, the company's “Artificial Sweetener Mask” was developed to reduce the perception of a sweetener's off-notes and “tail,” or lingering taste. It is ideal for use in beverages, desserts and confections sweetened with aspartame and sucralose.

Flavoring nutraceutical and functional foods is another company specialty. Comax supplies masking agents to camouflage beany notes often present in soy applications, which include veggie burgers, soy milk-based beverages and prepared “meatless” entrees. A registered dietician can provide nutritional and labeling information.

Comax has a flavor line for the industry standard 40/30/30 nutritional bars. The flavorings include chocolate and chocolate combos such as chocolate peanut, chocolate almond, chocolate caramel, chocolate raspberry and others. “The flavors are incorporated in two basic ways,” explains Katz. “In the coating, the bar is enrobed with a chocolate or sometimes a yogurt-type of coating. Flavors are also incorporated in the matrix of the bar. In addition to the characterizing flavor, the matrix will also be the place where 'specialty' flavors, like protein- or glycerine-masking flavors, are included.”

The Highest Form of Flattery

High-temperature processing can reduce desired brown sugar notes when formulating low-sugar baked goods. Comax offers a caramelized sugar flavor, which imitates these desired notes. Also, a new yeast flavor is available to enhance the flavor profile of low-carb baked goods applications.

A line of new butter flavors can successfully replace real butter--with a similarly satisfying flavor, taste and mouthfeel. The body and mouthfeel lost in low-fat ice creams receives a boost from milk and cream flavors, which also improve flavor release. Savory foods applications will benefit from beef fat and chicken fat flavors that can replace animal fats--without trans-fats--another health advantage.

For more information:

Comax Flavors, Norman Katz