Due to launch at Engredea 2016 next week, Applied Food Sciences (AFS)’s new PurTea ingredient promises “a purified catechin stream that removes compounds that no only create negative sensory attributes but also may reduce the overall absoroption of the catechins within the body,” the company said.
Jackson Zapp, VP of Innovation at AFS, explained: “Green tea naturally contains compounds called tannins, which provide a brownish color found in teas and a bitter, astringent, flavor,” he told NutraIngredients-USA. “By removing these tannins, as well as other pigments and enzymes, such as polyphenol oxidase, that allow increased oxidation, PurTea can bring the benefits of tea to any flavor profile without the off-notes,” he added.
More familiarity with its health benefits
Green tea and green tea-flavored beverages and snacks may not be as popular in the US as they are in East or South East Asia. But sales numbers show that consumers are aware of its benefits, and they want more of it.
A report from Grand View Research noted that functional beverages account for the largest application for antioxidants from tea polyphenols, “being more than 40% of total volume sold in 2012,” Zapp said.
Furthermore, according to Euromonitor, the retail value RSP of green tea extract in the vitamins and dietary supplements category is projected to grow to $164.1 million by 2020 in the US from $152.9 million in 2015.
“While one of our most important goals is designing PurTea was for delivery in beverage applications, being highly water soluble also has benefits when being used in supplements as well,” Zapp added, attributing it to the bioavailability gained by removing the tannins.
Optimized for beverage use
PurTea itself comes in a flavorless powder of 5kg and 25kg, which the company said gives flexibility to beverage manufacturers, especially for beverages targeting active millennials.
“I would pin-point millennial energy drink consumers that are seeking cleaner labels with more natural and recognizable ingredients,” Zapp said. The ingredient is certified USDA organic, extracted using a proprietary process that makes sure the product can keep its organic title from the beginning to the end of processing.
Zapp cited a Mintel study that revealed Americans aged 18-34 as the primary consumers of energy drinks, but members of the same age group are also more likely to be concerned about the safety of these products’ ingredients.
“Fortunately, part of the reason energy drinks remain so resilient is that they are evolving and becoming better-for-you,” Zapp added. “The emerging trend of ‘Clean Energy,’ using more natural and recognizable ingredients, has sparked a large opportunity for innovation within the energy drink market. PurTea is a great example of an ingredient that is helping this category evolve.”