Note to Beverage Ops on Nutraceuticals

While ease of consumption and portability makes it easier to provide nutraceutical ingredients and botanicals through beverages rather than supplements, these ingredients also pose major formulation challenges.

By Kantha Shelke, Ph.D.

Share Print Related RSS

These can include interactions resulting in undesirable flavors, discoloration or sedimentation.

When formulating beverages with botanical antioxidants and other phytochemicals the difficulty is incorporating enough of the desired ingredient to deliver the health-related benefits without adversely affecting end flavor. During processing of tea beverages, bioactive botanicals such as theaflavins tend to break down. Rather than overloading to protect against the flavor or bioactivity drop-off, active nutraceutical compounds such as ascorbic acid can be used to prevent oxidation during early mixing steps.

When seeking flavors to mask nutraceutical ingredients experts recommend investigating a wide range of flavor compounds. One beverage processor noted that assumptions can't be made regarding complementary flavors, citing as example that grape flavor was not ideal masker for polyphenolic antioxidants derived from grape. The formulator discovered peach and apple flavors to be more successful.

Formulators have to take physiological effects into consideration when enhancing beverages with stimulants like EGCG and other tea catechins, xanthine, caffeine, maté, guarana and ginseng. Caffeine stimulates heart rate and production of catecholamines -- hormones that could raise anxiety levels or irritate the g.i. tract. Over consumption, or consumption by the very young, the very old, and expectant mothers can be a problem. Caffeine's diuretic properties can deplete the body of electrolytes and counteract the benefits of hydration -- important for performance and maintaining motor skills.

Antioxidants may tend to oxidize rapidly during processing of liquid applications. Avoid unnecessary ingredient exposure to light and iron during storage, processing and packaging. White tea, because it is less processed than green or black tea, has greater natural levels of some polyphenols and is more vulnerable to the ambient, light and heat during storage and processing.

Some dry ingredients, such as hydrocolloids, can be problematic with particles of undissolved material. These may be resolved with high-shear mixing with a liquefier or shear pump. It also helps with some hydrocolloids, such as pectins, to first fully hydrate them. This may be done by mixing with water at elevated temperatures; the process demands a heat exchanger in the mixing process. Some ingredients require homogenization to develop their full body and mouthfeel and to help emulsify any lipids that may be present in the formulation.

Allocate water cooled tanks to accommodate work-in-progress -- should temporary equipment failure happen on the packaging side of the operation. Cooled storage can help protect against microbiological and biochemical degradation.

Fruit-based ingredients tend to be susceptible to thermoduric mold. Pasteurization is critical to the shelf life of beverages, especially when they contain fruit purees or concentrates. For pasteurizing purees and particulate containing concentrates, tubular heat exchangers are more effective than plate and frame heat exchangers.

Share Print Reprints Permissions

What are your comments?

Join the discussion today. Login Here.

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments