The 15,700-square-foot space features a beverage bar dedicated to presentations, tastings and development; a dedicated lab for mint and oral care products; and state-of-the-art facilities, including a pilot plant, to enable the development of sweet and savory flavor creations for a wide range of other applications, Marie Wright, VP and chief global flavorist, told FoodNavigator-USA.
“Our center of excellence for flavor creation is in Erlanger, Kentucky, so this new facility enables us to work alongside customers based on the East Coast on a full range of application areas in a state of the art facility.”
WILD Flavors, which ADM acquired in late 2014, is a global leader in natural flavors and ingredients, and particularly strong in fruit flavors and tea extracts, for which it has developed proprietary extraction technologies, said Wright.
While the company’s client base features tier one global food and beverage companies, it is also increasingly working with smaller players, who in many cases are driving innovation in the industry, said Wright.
Asked about trends, she said organic was gaining a lot of traction; along with an ongoing drive for cleaner labels; flavors that masked off notes in proteins, health ingredients and high intensity natural sweeteners; and a general trend towards authenticity and named varietals in fruits and vegetables (Sicilian lemons, Anjou Pears).
African spices and recipes are also gaining traction in the US, along with turmeric, she said.
The trend towards using more vegetables in beverage formulations, meanwhile, has also created new challenges for flavorists, she said.
“When you’ve got spinach in some recipes, it doesn’t always taste like fresh spinach, you can get some cabbagey notes.”