Vanillin alternative targets active ingredient applications

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Vanilla

Symrise is highlighting its aldehyde-free vanillin flavor, which it said can be used in functional food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications without compromising active ingredients or causing browning in products.

Aldehydes are reactive parts of a chemical compound that are commonly found in flavors such as vanilla, citrus, and cinnamon.

They react readily with acids, amines, alcohol metals, and other aldehydes, often resulting in undesirable effects such as browning. Although all applications can be impacted, products containing functional or active ingredients are particularly susceptible as aldehydes may also inactivate enzymes, functional ingredients or drug actives.

“Manufacturers have had to avoid high-aldehyde flavors altogether. Many times they specify ‘no vanilla’ when briefing us on a project,”​ Symrise’s category director, Healthcare and Confectionery, Dona Rosa told

“This opens up a whole new range of possibilities not just for vanilla flavored products, but for all the flavors that use vanilla such as fruit and cream combinations, caramel, chocolate, and other brown flavors. Vanilla is a very common background note.”

Symrise’s flavor is a vanillin alternative, so the company was able to avoid the presence of aldehydes by not using vanilla extracts.

Rosa said the ingredient is made with “non-vanillin derived flavor materials”​, but did not specify which materials. She said these were compounded to deliver the taste of vanilla without actually containing it.

The ingredient can be labeled as a ‘natural and artificial flavor’.

“Our aldehyde-free vanillin alternatives are a boon to innovators of healthcare products who want to launch line extensions that feature vanilla tastes that previously eluded them,”​ said Rosa.

The flavor can be used at around the same dosage levels as ordinary vanillin, or it can be much more concentrated, said the firm. For example, Symrise’s ingredient can start at levels of 0.01 percent, compared to 0.1 percent for vanillin.

The price is comparable to or lower than that of vanillin, and “much lower”​ than that of vanilla extracts or natural vanilla flavors.

The ingredient is said to be stable and comes in liquid or dry form. It can be tailored to any product where reactivity is a concern, said the company. Examples include supplements, tablets, bars, syrups, suspensions, lozenges, beverages, powder mixes and thin films.

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