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IFF's breath of fresh air for flavour industry


International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF) is to launch CoolTek, a high-intensity cooling technology claimed to impart a "unique taste sensation for a clean, refreshing, energising taste and feel that invigorates flavour". The product is designed to add 'fun and originality' to a wide variety of products including food, beverages and even pharmaceutical products.

Historically, the only way to achieve a cooling sensation was with the use of mint or menthol. IFF claims that the CoolTek technology however is not mint-derived, although it does enhance mint flavour systems. In addition it is also described as 'ideal for non-mint flavour systems, such as fruit, dairy, indulgent, and savoury flavours'. The cooling sensation reportedly lasts and builds - without a menthol 'burn', aroma, or flavour and without impacting other flavours in the system.

"Major companies are working on products using these cooling compounds," said Tom De Biase, director of global technical business development for sweet products. "These cooling materials are very unique because unlike a flavour, where it can be hard to realise exactly what a customer wants when they ask for a ripe strawberry, it's very easy to measure the amount of cooling. When you place a candy or film in your mouth, it's easy to tell if it's cold or not. The fact that we can actually measure the cooling effect has had a fair amount to do with our success."

"IFF's CoolTek technology has been a global success story and a product that is helping IFF win in the marketplace," said Kevin Field, vice president of global business development for sweet products. "Not only has CoolTek been extremely successful in confectionery products and chewing gum, these cooling compounds have helped generate new product lines like the breath films that have become so popular."

IFF says another factor in CoolTek's success is the ability to control the release of the cooling-both the amount and when it is experienced-depending on the end product. It claims that this ability to provide measurable results directly affects consumer sales which in turn it says has been proved by the fact that this new category of 'intense' products is growing at close to double figures.

For marketing purposes CoolTek has already been prepared in several types of product concepts-fortified flavoured water, iced tea, kids' juice, and an energy drink-and presented to the customer in a CoolTek cooler. IFF says it is also exploring the use of CoolTek in fragrance products.

"We believe this is not a niche business that will go away soon," said De Biase. "The search for new cooling materials is an ongoing project in R&D. We have a staff constantly working on synthesising and evaluating new materials."

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