New superfruit flavors deliver nutritional benefits

By BY Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Fatty acid

Kerry Ingredients & Flavours has extended its line of
functional flavors, which are said to combine the flavor and
nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.

The company, which recently changed its name from Mastertaste, launched its NutraFlavors line at the end of last year with a cranberry flavor. It has now added white grape and pomegranate to the range. The flavors, obtained using a patent-pending process, are extracted from the seeds of the so-called superfruits. The company is positioning the ingredients as functional compounds rather than regular flavors, as their high nutrient content - including omega-3 ALA and omega-6 linoleic acid and antioxidants - could open up the door for manufacturers to potentially make health claims. The first cranberry product in the line had been launched in dried form. Kerry has since expanded its range to also include other forms such as emulsion and liquid, in order to make them easier to incorporate into a wide variety of applications. According to the company's vice president of technical for flavors Markus Eckert, "the idea is to use all the pieces of a fruit, get all the health benefits and put it all into one flavor system".​ In the cranberry flavor, for example, although it is the seed that is the richest source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, there are other parts of the fruit that also have nutritional value, he said. "We use a little bit of juice, a little but of puree - for the fiber - and also cranberry oil for the fatty acids,"​ he told NutraIngredients-USA during a visit to the company's headquarters in Teterboro, NJ. In terms of nutritional value, 2g of the company's dried cranberry flavor delivers 100mg of omega-3 and 100mg of omega-6. Suggestions for the labeling of the ingredient include 'natural cranberry flavor' or 'omega-3s from cranberry'. Kerry said it will be expanding its range to include flavors from a number of other fruits - such as kiwi and raspberry - but also vegetables, teas, spices, herbs and botanicals. "We're looking at everything that has nutritional value and good history of human consumption so we can build a flavor system around it​. We need to find active ingredients, make sure they are isolated, and remain active,"​ said Eckert. The company said the flavors do not contain any artificial colors, solvents, chemically-modified food starches or synthetic preservatives. Applications where they could be used include nutritional bars, cereal, smoothies, energy drinks, confectionery, meal replacements and dietary supplements, said the firm.

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