Functional Food Trends
What are “functional foods”? The answer to that is simple – they’re anything that is designed with a buyer’s health in mind. These can include everything from probiotic yogurts to enriched dairy products, pasta, and even cereal. Though they’ve been around for years, there was never really a focus on delicious flavor in these types of foods until recent years. However, with buyers increasing their focus on health and nutrition, it’s more important than ever to develop functional food products that are also optimized for delicious flavor.
That presents a new series of obstacles for flavorists working on these products. For example, with the move to whole grains and wheat rather than refined flour in food products, flavorists must now seek out ways to deliver flavors that work with the natural taste of these grains. Because of this, the importance of Natural Flavor Ingredients in flavor creation is more important than ever before.
There are a number of trends in this area of the flavor market that flavorists will want to pay attention to. In the past, it was almost expected that so-called “functional” foods might be blander than other food products on grocery store shelves. This is by no means the case anymore. In fact, when it comes to most functional foods it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between these flavors and any other flavors one might pick up.
On the other hand, a growing reliance on unique and even artisanal flavors is leading to a functional foods industry that often places emphasis on flavor ingredients that are not often used in conventional food production.
Whether using Natural Cinnamic Acid or Natural Vanillin, or whether a lavender and lemon flavor combination is being used, the one thing that should be key in functional food production is understanding the motivation for consumers who are purchasing these products. These are people who want to feel good about their food choices, so sticking to the freshest and most natural flavors possible is always the optimal choice in creating flavors for these functional food products.