Blue Pacific's new functional flavor system offers health-minded beverage makers the promise of shelf stability without the threat of ringing or separation.
Launched last week at the World Wide Food Exhibition (WWFE) in Chicago, the firm claimed that its natural flavor enhancer StabilEase could protect dairy and soy proteins from agglomerating when acidified.
As a result, beverage developers can use Stabilease to engineer shelf stable, homogeneous, acidified milk and soy based beverages for PET, glass, or plastic bottles without worrying about separation.
And what's more, they can tap into the burgeoning shift in consumer attitudes towards products that promises nutritional and health benefits.
For example, milk or juice beverages made with StabilEase can now be fortified with higher bioactive calcium from milk. When this is formulated with high antioxidant-containing fruit juices, the combination makes a nutritious new beverage.
These new products can also be supplemented with additional vitamins, minerals and other actives depending on specific customer needs.
As a result, Blue Pacific argues that the launch of the new flavor system marks a significant breakthrough for the sector. Up to now, developers have had to rely solely on using soy protein isolates or skim milk powder with texturant ingredients such as pectin and gum stabilizers to keep proteins from agglomerating when combined with juice.
But by limiting the level of milk or soy protein that can be kept stable before the beverage, food makers are in danger of creating a slippery, uncharacteristic mouth feel. Blue Pacific also claims that over an extended shelf life, this old technology usually shows signs of ringing and agglomeration.
"We have discovered an innovative solution to help our clients create completely shelf stable, acidified, milk or soy smoothie type beverages that are nutritious, all natural, and taste great," said Walt Postelwait, vice president and general manager of Blue Pacific.
With the new StabilEase flavor system, developers have the opportunity to make all-natural flavored milk or soymilk acidified beverages stable for up to nine months at ambient temperatures. The range of natural favors for this new line of smoothie formulas includes strawberry, orange, guava, white peach, blueberry, mango and fuji apple.
In addition the company has also launched StabilEase II, designed specifically for ice cream and frozen dessert applications. Blue Pacific claims that the ingredient provides a creamier taste and gives textural benefits to hard-packed and soft-served ice creams.
It can also improve lower fat, calorie-reduced products through its ability to mimic full fat formulations.
The firm even claims that ice cream products made with StabilEase ll have improved freeze thaw compared to those that are not adding this natural flavor enhancer. At the WWFE exhibition, the company featured StabilEase ll in a Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla low-fat Super Premium soft-serve ice cream for taste comparison against the exact same formulation without StabilEase ll.