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Sodium-masking technology boosts sweetness

By Mike Stones , 10-Mar-2011

Masking the flavor of salt offers big opportunities for products, such as sports beverages, where salt is a winning ingredient and can boost perception of sweetness, claims flavor technology company Comax Flavors.

“Sodium-masking flavors increase the acceptability of food and beverages that contain electrolytes and increase sweetener perception,” Agneta Weisz, the company’s vice president Research and Technology, told FoodNavigatorUSA.com.

Isotonic beverages

The company’s sodium-masking flavors are natural, water-soluble ingredients that eliminate the potentially unpleasant, salty taste of isotonic beverages and other products, while emphasizing the sweetness inherent in the recipe, said Weisz.

In addition to sports beverages, the flavours can also be used in some juices, dairy goods, pharmaceutical products, nutritional bars made with electrolytes, and other products where salt is needed but saltiness is not desirable.

“Comax salt enhancers and blends are ideal for use along with common salt substitutes such as potassium chloride or potassium lactate,” said Weisz. “They can mask the bitter taste associated with potassium, as they enhance the saltiness inherent in the food product itself. They also have the power to enhance the umami taste of food. They do all this without adding other, unwanted tastes.”

Each sodium-masking formula is designed to suit specific applications. Comax works with clients to determine the optimal masking flavor for the exact recipe of a given product.

Enhancing flavors

Cathy Armstrong, vice president, Corporate Communications said: "We specialize in assisting consumer product manufacturers by making their healthy formulations taste great. In answering the demand for masking and enhancing flavors, we're helping our clients create the kinds of products that today's consumers want and need."

The Salt Masking Flavors are natural flavors made entirely from ingredients which have Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) accreditation.

The company also produces other special-purpose flavors like Sweetness Enhancer, Bitter Blocker, Acid Reduction and Caffeine Mask.

Meanwhile, last December, Comax Flavors released its predictions for flavor trends this year dividing them into three groups: Comforting and familiar, exotic and escapist flavors, and those that combine the two.

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