Sweetening, color, flavor – molding these three essentials into the ideal triple harmony is one of the key challenges facing the food and beverage industry. At drinktec 2013, taking place at Munichґs trade fair center from September 16 to 20, 2013, virtually every relevant manufacturer worldwide will be on hand to demonstrate the new, trendsetting developments in this sector.
New Beverage Concepts
One absolute must-visit for marketing and technology divisions of brewing and soft drinks groups and SMEs, dairy producers and liquid foods manufacturers, is the “Special Area New Beverage Concepts” in Hall B1. At this location manufacturers will be presenting and explaining their new sweetening, coloring and flavoring strategies. BENEO, for example, a leading manufacturer of functional ingredients, will be demonstrating ideas for a better balance in energy-boosting products: “Consumers are increasingly focusing on drinks concepts that release a steady supply of energy, avoiding the so-called ‘boost and crash’ effect. It is ingredients like ginseng or Palatinose™ (Isomaltulose) that rate highest on this criterion, as they are natural products that also offer nutritional benefits,” explains Jens Bцhm, Marketing Manager for BENEO. The New Beverage Concepts Special Area has its own catering area enabling sampling of innovative drinks right there. The Special Area is a separately designated and designed area located in the exhibition section featuring Raw Materials, Additives and Agents. The New Beverage Concepts Special Area is a promotion by drinktec in cooperation with Dr. Harnisch International Publications, Nuremberg.
It has to taste good. That has always been the supreme imperative governing the development of beverages and liquid foods. But what exactly do we mean by ‘taste good’, or indeed by the word ‘taste’ itself? It’s not a great mystery, in fact. The tongue can distinguish precisely five types of taste: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and satisfyingly meaty. Everything else about ‘taste’ comes from the eyes and the nose, which are incomparably more sensitive. All these sense impressions trigger emotions or memories, which our brain processes into an overall judgment. And finally we come up with “I like it” – or “I don’t like it.”
Sweet = Good
It’s because of the emotions that taste becomes a complex matter after all. For example, ‘sweet’ stands for ‘good’, and probably has done ever since our primeval forebears came out of East Africa. Sweet foodstuffs thus almost automatically trigger that “I like it” response, deep inside us. However, partly as a result of changing consumer lifestyles, new requirements keep emerging, as do new concerns motivating alternative approaches. These concerns come with category labels such as obesity, dental health, diabetes, glycemic index or ‘natural’. All these subcategories will be represented by displays of relevant products in Hall B1 at drinktec. They range from calorie-free sweeteners through natural and almost blood sugar-neutral substitutes for sugar, special sugar combinations for sports use and classics like saccharose all the way to brand-new alternatives. The EU approval of steviol glycosides as a food additive (E 960) first and foremost enables the sweetening of drinks using new concepts based on stevia. Obtained from the leaves of a plant named stevia rebaudiana, steviol glycosides are up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, and calorie-free. A further interesting option, on which visitors to drinktec can find out more at first hand, is the use of naturally sweet drink bases such as malt extracts or – distinctly more exotic – coconut water.
But sweetness isnґt the whole story, as Caroline Sanders, Global Marketing & Communications Director, Tate & Lyle Speciality Food Ingredients, points out: “These days a whole variety of substances can be used or combined with each other to develop sweeteners and other sugar substitutes. As well as the property of sweetness, With sugar-free or sugar-reduced products we have to pay attention not only to the proper of sweetness, but also in particular to the sensory parameter of body/mouth feel.”
Coloring from Spinach and Red Cabbage
Naturalness is also currently the headline theme dominating the world of flavors and colorings. Examples of well-known natural pigments include chlorophyll and carotene. It has also been found that Spirulina microalgae are a natural source of blue pigment. Other pigmenting extracts again are derived from beetroot, red cabbage, spinach or elderberry. Among natural flavors the trend is to concepts based exclusively on the source fruit or plant from which the aroma takes its name. However, it is worth remembering that, for very good reasons, some flavors do have to be made or harvested from other natural sources. For instance, the entire world harvest of strawberries would be nothing like enough to match the demand for natural flavors produced exclusively from strawberries. Also represented at drinktec will be natural ‘brown’ flavors like toffee, cappuccino, walnut, almond, caramel or nut. These are flavors of particular interest to the milk industry – for which drinktec has long been a major calendar fixture, to the extent that in 2009 no fewer than 22 percent of the trade visitors to the show were from that segment.
Naturalness and Technology
The technological implications of the switchover to natural sourcing for flavors, colorings and key functional ingredients are far-reaching. Certain colors are just not provided by the natural environment, or substances used may prove less stable in terms of storage life, temperature or pH tolerance. “This is why brilliance of color, natural sourcing and stability were the objectives driving development of the new red tones from the black carrot,” says Christian Benetka, Senior Product Manager Colors for DцhlerGroup. “The pigmenting concentrates are now superior to other anthocyanin-based colorings in terms of stability. They also contain no sulfur dioxide.” The prerequisite for innovative developments is thus always a deep resource of specialist knowledge, built up through trial production runs, sensory analyses and, not least, representative keeping-quality tests. All the more important, then, that drinktec exhibits not merely the ingredients but also the technology, in particular the entire technology of production and bottling. That will happen in this format in 2013 at only one place on the globe: in the exhibition halls at Messe Mьnchen, at drinktec.
Further information: www.drinktec.com
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drinktec is the world’s leading trade fair for beverage and liquid food technology. It is the most important trade fair for the sector. Manufacturers and suppliers from all over the world – global companies and SMEs alike – meet up here with all sizes of producers and retailers of beverages and liquid food products. Within the sector drinktec is regarded as the number one platform for launching new products on the world market. At this event manufacturers present the latest technology for production, filling and packaging of beverages of all kinds, and for liquid food – also encompassing raw materials and logistics solutions. The themes of beverages marketing and packaging design round off the portfolio.
drinktec 2013, which takes place at the Messe Munchen exhibition centre in Munich, from September 16 to 20, 2013, is expected to attract around 1,500 exhibitors from over 70 countries and approximately 60,000 visitors from more than 170 countries.