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Tastefully plant-based | Food Dive

More options in plant-based food and beverage consumer products are in demand across diverse application types beyond the center of plate. More and more convenient Health & Wellness beverages, snacks, baked goods, dips, sauces, gummy supplements, frozen desserts, and other items are included. The consumer preference for plant-based is driven by personal values and a healthier diet according to a recent Innova study. Plant-based ranks as one of the fastest growing categories for new product launches.

Taste Is a Challenge

The development of food and beverage products that feature plant-based proteins, lower sugar and often additional supplements or botanicals can create a taste that is often undesirable. Most plant-based ingredients as well as functional ingredients and natural sweeteners have taste detractors. The traditional approach by the food and beverage product developers is to use a flavor masker. Unfortunately, these flavor maskers are not tailored to the specific detractor and minimize the impact of the desired characterizing flavor.

Flavor Producers has introduced the Tasteful Technologies® portfolio in 2021 with exceptional customer success across Health & Wellness food and beverage products. Unlike traditional flavor maskers, the Tasteful Technologies® portfolio was created with a unique set of natural and organic ingredients that specifically target a detractor (examples include pea protein, caffeine, Stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, omega 3 fatty acids, CBD, zinc, vegetable fats etc.) and are selected to address each of the taste detractors individually.

“This approach results in a brighter and more authentic overall balance of the desired flavor profile”, says Alex Cahoon, Sensory & Portfolio Manager at Flavor Producers. “Historically, the single flavor masker was added to optimize the taste of a product formulation, and while it would reduce the taste of the detractor, it would also minimize the preferred taste of the characterizing flavors so the product developer would often have to add more flavor to the product at added cost.” She adds, “most plant-based food and beverage products have multiple ingredients that contribute to undesirable off notes especially if they are positioning health benefits like lower sugar, higher protein and functional benefits”.

“It is important to select a tailored flavor modifier specific to the protein, the sweetener, or the functional supplement to ultimately optimize and balance the overall flavor profile”, says Ms. Cahoon. Whether it’s a lifestyle gummy, protein fortified cookie or a Kombucha beverage with multiple botanicals, the approach is tailored to the individual formulation. The result is better taste. 

Here is a plant-based dairy alternative concept from our experienced application team to inspire your next innovation:

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Oat Milk Creamer

Wake up to the fresh taste of warm cinnamon oatmeal cookies with this indulgent oat milk creamer. It is perfect for a Cold Brew or your favorite coffee drink. The creamer is crafted not only as sustainable but also low calorie (15 calories/svg) and craveable.

  • Natural Flavor Blend (Sweetened Condensed Milk Type)
  • Natural Flavor Blend (Modifier)
  • Natural Flavor Blend (Cookie Butter Type)
  • Natural Flavor Blend (Cinnamon Cereal Type)

Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Oat Milk, Natural Flavor, Phosphate Blend, Gums.

Flavor Producers has been the pioneer and leader in the creation of natural and organic flavors for over 40 years with the flexibility to create custom taste profiles that are Transparently Delicious®Create your next innovation by requesting samples of your own natural or organic flavors, flavor modifiers and extracts at

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