Comax Flavors unveils caffeine maskers and bitter blockers for nootropics
26 May 2021 --- Comax Flavors now offers caffeine maskers and bitter blockers to offset the negative taste found in functional F&B products. The move from the company comes amid a rising demand for better-tasting nootropics, as consumers seek health benefits from food and drinks.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Michael Crain, director of flavor creation at Comax, says that while consumers demand and expect more healthy, natural tasting food products and beverages, the bitter taste effects of caffeine can put off their enjoyment and taste experience while also influencing their future product purchases.
Furthermore, Innova Market Insights data shows an average annual growth of 70 percent in global nootropic product launches between 2015 and 2019.
According to Innova Market Insights, specific nootropic claims are witnessing an average annual growth of 62 percent (Global, CAGR 2016 to 2020). Other major claims revolve around clarity, performance, stamina and anti-stress.
Further evidencing this trend, the market researcher ranked “Mood: The Next Occasion” as its seventh top F&B trend for 2021.
While not all consumers are opposed to some bitterness or bitter-tasting products, studies have shown that the majority of consumers prefer little to no bitterness in the products they consume, whether from caffeine or other bitter-contributing materials, notes Crain.
He says the latest maskers will help provide “a greater acceptance” of the company’s products.
“When consumers are looking to reduce bitterness in their products, they can reach out to Comax when faced with similar challenges with their future endeavors,” he adds.
According to Crain, there has been a consistent demand over the past few years to help customers look for solutions for issues like bitterness from materials such as caffeine, sweeteners such as stevia, and other natural materials, botanicals, supplements and nutraceuticals, which are often used in the development of these healthier food products and beverages.
“Beverages, nutraceuticals and high protein-plant based products will continue to utilize maskers and blockers to help offset the negative effects of some of the ingredients used in the ongoing development of these product types,” he explains.
“As long as interest continues to rise which utilize these cognitive ingredients, expect to see a continuing increase in their utilization across the board in beverages and food products.”
Wins for caffeine
Caffeine is a natural stimulant and popular nootropic appearing in various consumer products such as coffee, tea, chocolate and most recently functional products. It has been found to stimulate brain activity and help promote focus.
From a formulator’s perspective, caffeine is a very bitter material and, depending on its use level and final application, can impart a negative taste in many products.
Comax Flavors has developed a library of caffeine maskers and bitter blockers, which can help offset these adverse effects by reducing the overall perception of bitterness and help achieve a more pleasing taste.
These caffeine maskers and bitter blockers are available in natural dry and liquid forms. They can be used in multiple applications such as non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, nutrition and performance bars, and confections.
“The pandemic has accelerated consumers’ interest in functional food and beverages,” adds says Catherine Armstrong, Comax Flavors’ vice president of corporate communications.
“We have seen a significant number of new products formulated with caffeine to promote cognitive functions. We are committed to delivering customized flavors and customized solutions that meet consumers’ growing demand for caffeinated food and beverages.”
Nutritional support for mental health and strength is evolving quickly, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. A recent NutritionInsight industry roundtable reveals how nootropics also target skincare and healthy aging while addressing remote work fatigue.
Notably, an Innova Consumer Survey 2020 found 44 percent of global consumers have taken action to improve their mental health and emotional well-being, as well as spiritual time (32 percent).
Last month, NutritionInsight also reported how a variety of new brain health NPD is pinpointing how the cognition supplementation scene is diversifying its target demographics. Dietary supplements supporting cognition, memory and focus are increasingly popular among traditional athletes and the video-gaming community.
By Elizabeth Green
This feature is provided by NutritionInsight’s sister website, FoodIngredientsFirst.
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