Balance texture, sweetness and flavor in reduced calorie beverages

Typically, when producing reduced-calorie beverages, manufacturers lower sugar content. To compensate for losing sweetness, it is common to add zero- or mid-calorie high-intensity sweeteners and taste-modifying flavors. Although this effectively addresses the loss of sweetness, the resulting beverage is likely to deliver a thinner mouthfeel and a different taste profile.

To remedy this challenge, Cargill introduces TasteWise, a patent-pending technology, to improve the taste of reduced-calorie beverages by better balancing texture, sweetness and flavor. Cargill utilizes its expertise in texturizers, sweeteners and flavors to balance taste and mouthfeel with unmatched precision. Using "tribology" - the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion - Cargill is able to more accurately mimic and measure what goes on inside the mouth when a beverage is consumed. Cargill is a pioneer in the use of tribology in the food and beverage industry, and through its use can predict and shape mouthfeel with an accuracy previously unknown in the industry. Sensory and consumer testing of Cargill's measurement and ingredient technology, conducted at North Carolina State University's Sensory Science Center, validates the connection between key mouthfeel sensations and consumer liking.

"With this new approach, Cargill not only provides the ingredients to achieve desired sweetness and enhanced mouthfeel, but the science and expertise to achieve the right balance," says Andy del Rosal, team leader of Cargill's North American beverage applications scientists. "This is the culmination of years of scientific research to help our customers develop reduced-calorie beverages that also taste great."


TasteWise -- which includes Cargill's sweeteners, such as the stevia-based, zero-calorie sweetener Truvia rebiana, and taste enhancing and masking flavors -- helps speed product development through the utilization of its unique prediction capabilities and new texturizing components saving customers time and cost. Pre-screened texturizing blends commercialized as Trilisse blends, optimize mouthfeel in reduced calorie beverages based on specific applications. These proprietary texturizing blends also may allow beverage makers to use fewer sweeteners or other ingredients to achieve the same mouthfeel."Cargill's philosophy is that you must examine sweetness, texture and flavor in relation to one another," says Majella de Bruijn, EMEA beverage category manager, Cargill. "Any time one is modified, it affects the others. Today, only Cargill has the capabilities to address all three factors from a holistic perspective and help customers deliver the great-tasting, reduced-calorie beverages that consumers demand."


Cargill, which has six patents filed on TasteWise reduced calorie solutions, is now working on extending its capabilities into food products including dressings, sauces and soups.