Veteran superfruit gets taste twist

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Coffee, Fruit

A flavor company has launched three new products combining pomegranate separately with mint, lemoncello and balsamic vinaigrette to give an added boost to the superfruit, which has now become mainstream.

GSB Flavor Creators new pairings, called Pomemint, Pomecello and Balsamic Pomegranette, have been introduced predominantly for alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, confections, baked goods and savory creations.

The launch is part of the company’s ongoing campaign to combine unusual but complementary tastes and echoes the growing demand for pomegranate.

In recent years the fruit has been elevated significantly due to its high antioxidant content and related health benefits and the bright color and versatile sweet, tangy flavor also contributes to its popularity according to a recent report from Mintal.

It said that across all segments, the use of superfruits is growing and consumer awareness and demand for functional fruits with high levels of antioxidants has skyrocketed. As a result interest has grown quickly in pomegranate, which until recently was considered a “lesser-known fruit”​.

Pomegranate flavors don't have the same antioxidant properties but they benefit from the fruit's association with the health benefits.

A GSB spokesperson told FoodNavigator-USA.com​that although the flavors are versatile and work well in a variety of applications, Pomemint and Pomecello were particularly good in beverages and Balsamic Pomegranette was good for salad dressing.

She added: “Pomegranate is known for its antioxidant qualities, as well as its flavor. It blends very well with other fruits, to add tart and sweet notes and it has a very high nutritional value.

“It could be considered one of the first ‘superfruits’ because it has been around for a very long time, compared to others.”

To come up with the flavor pairings, the company said it holds round table discussions with its creative sales, marketing and chemist teams. Then the flavor ideas are tested and evaluated for their palatable characteristics.

The spokesperson added: “Sometimes we end up with themes to work around, or single flavors, odors, seasons and even feelings.”

Growing popularity

A Mintel report, called RTD Non-carbonated Beverages - US - June 2008,​ said a survey of 1,639 adults (who had bought a RTD non-carbonated beverage in the past three months) showed that pomegranate appealed to 23 percent of users but is more strongly favored by women and Hispanics.

Recently pomegranate has featured in RTD teas launched as a healthier alternative to energy drinks. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, many of the teas shown at the 2008 Winter Fancy Foods show had added antioxidants and/or “superfruits​”, such as acai, pomegranate, goji, or cupuaçu, which heighten a product’s reputation as a healthy beverage.

Similarly, vitamin-enhanced waters which now offer benefits previously found in fruit juice, include splashes of superfruits that provide antioxidants.

In March 2008, PepsiCo reformulated its Aquafina Alive products to contain additional enhancing ingredients. Aquafina Alive Protect Nutrient Enriched Water now includes antioxidants to help protect against free radicals and it has a berry-pomegranate flavor.

Pomegranate is also popular in menus as, according to Mintel Menu Insights, the fruit’s presence has increased by 154 percent between Q1 2005 and Q1 2007. Unique applications of pomegranate in menu items include vinaigrettes, sauces, molasses and glazes.

GSB specializes in custom flavor creations and its research and manufacturing facilities are located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Related topics: Suppliers, Flavors and colors

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