UK firm uncovers 'traditional' strawberry flavour

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flavor

UK firm Create Flavours has developed an innovative method that it
claims is capable of recreating more accurately the original
flavour of strawberries.

By growing and analysing a rare variety of strawberry fruit, the company has been able to develop what it considers to be a highly differentiated taste.

"People have been saying that strawberries don't taste like they used to,"​ Create Flavours commercial director John Sheahan told FoodNavigator.

"Of course you have to take these sayings with a pinch of salt. But we looked at the old varieties and came up with five recommended for taste, which are known to be not so good for growing, to find out."

The Create Flavours team selected a variety called Royal Sovereign.

"Many of the old varieties just aren't available to consumers any more,"​ said Jonathan Jones, chief flavourist at Create. "From our initial literature research we grew five varieties and then through careful assessment selected the tastiest, which turned out to be a variety called 'Royal Sovereign'.

"This is the first time this particular variety has been analysed."

The team then sent the fruit to the Flavormetrix unit at Nottingham University to analyse. Using state of the art technology the Flavometrix team analysed the volatile components of the fruit, which had been macerated, thus mimicking the way the volatiles would be released in the mouth upon eating.

Create Flavours then used the identified compounds to recreate a new strawberry flavour that the company describes as fuller, more accurate and also longer lasting.

The company believes that the new flavour, which is available for sampling, should appeal to dairy manufacturers and other sectors looking to impart a more accurate taste. The flavour is available as both natural and nature identical, liquid and encapsulated.

"There are some really outstanding products on the marketplace, but we looked at these and it seemed to us that we'd all forgotten what strawberries really tasted like and then we started to think about how we could do better,"​ said Jones.

Strawberry remains one of the fastest growing fruits in certain European markets. Demand for strawberries, a rich source of vitamin C as well as antioxidants like ellagic acid, has increased in the UK, with many supermarkets marketing the fruit as one of nature's Superfoods.

Furthermore, a recent Business Insights report found that the leading flavours in products launched between 2004 and 2006 were strawberry, lemon and apple. And a Frost & Sullivan report estimated that the global flavouring market, valued at $4.80 billion in 2005, is likely to touch $6.22 billion in 2012.

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