Resorcix showcases solution to TAB bacterial outgrowth in sports drinks
12 Oct 2022 --- Resorcix has unveiled Flavorwatch, a botanical formula that eliminates Thermophilic Acidophilic Bacteria (TAB) in sports beverages. The company flags this as a “breakthrough” solution to the “alarming incidence” of TAB spoilage.
In a trial with fruit-based beverage solutions manufacturer Gat Foods, Flavorwatch “was shown to work in multiple categories of fruit and non-fruit containing still energy drinks.”
The Resorcix formulation is considered a natural flavoring by the European Food Safety Authority and the US Food and Drug Administration. The product is based on a plant resin that kills Alicyclobacillus germinating spores, thus protecting acidic beverages from TAB proliferation throughout the product’s shelf life.
Sports drink boom
According to Innova Market Insights, 65% of Millenials consume sports and functional drinks at least once a week, with other age groups also showing a healthy interest in sports drinks – 57% of Gen Z’s, 59% of Gen Xers and 56% of Boomers also consumed at least one sports drink a week in 2021.
“Sports drinks and non-carbonated energy drinks are enjoying booming growth worldwide, based on their reputation as refreshing trendy beverages that can help support a healthy and active lifestyle,” says Hila Bentman, marketing manager of Gat Foods.
“From high-carb, high-mineral, concentrated isotonic beverages to nootropic, botanical-infused drinks that come in exotic flavors, this category of functional drinks is the subject of constant innovation to boost organoleptic and wellness qualities,” Bentman explains.
However, TAB spoilage can markedly hinder their appeal and the consumer experience and damage the brand’s reputation. Flavorwatch dramatically reduces these risks and can help provide peace of mind to beverage manufacturers,” he continues.
TAB outgrowth occurs soon after the bottling process with adverse effects in beverage quality and organoleptic properties, which Resorcix flags can lead to customer complaints and costly recalls.
According to Innova Market Insights, 65% of Millenials consume sports and functional drinks at least once a week.
Ending the TABoo
TAB bacterias generate strong off-flavors and odors in still ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, avoiding pasteurization. They are a group of nonpathogenic microbes categorized in the Alicyclobacillus family.
In a visual manner, spoilage caused by TAB can be identified as a white sediment at the bottom of the bottle, with a sour taste that renders the drink unsuitable for consumption.
“Since the discovery of TAB in the 1980s following a spoilage outbreak in a commercial pasteurized apple juice brand, TAB spoilage was typically associated with clear fruit-based beverages,” Resorcix explains.
“This led to the perception that the fruit component was the source of the Alicyclobacillus contamination. However, later research on several beverage categories has confirmed that TAB can easily multiply in beverages that contain no fruit at all,” the company explains.
TAB is particularly prominent as it eliminates all other microorganisms leaving no competition for TAB outgrowth and the production of the phenolic compound guaiacol.
During the pilot trial, the research team gathered different brands of non-carbonated sports and energy drinks to be tested. Each product was inoculated with spurs of the Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris strains in a concentration of 1,500 colony forming unit (CFU) per liter.
The company used a control batch and one treated with Flavorwatch.
“Both batches were pasteurized at 95°C for 30 seconds and hot-filled into bottles. The Flavorwatch group demonstrated effective resistance against TAB spoilage during the 180-day trial. The control bottles showed signs of TAB multiplication after just seven days,” explains Resorcix.
“Sugar, water, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and other ingredients turn out to be potential sources of TAB,” explains Dr Lior Sinai, microbiologist and CTO, Resorcix.
“The good news – Flavorwatch botanical solution works just as efficiently in non-fruit-based beverages and is effective in all types of sports beverages,” concludes Sinai.
Edited by Marc Cervera
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