Synergy Flavours expands citrus portfolio with Italian provenance range
08 Jun 2021 --- Synergy Flavours has unveiled its Italian provenance citrus range, which taps into consumer demand for premiumization and increases product transparency. The extracts are developed using traditional extraction techniques to produce distillates, infusions and washes.
The flavors include Calabrian lemon, Italian blood orange, Italian bergamot, Sicilian blood orange, Sicilian mandarin, Sicilian lemon and Sicilian chinotto.
The extracts can be used in beverages, baked goods and dairy products, for example. Customers can add a sweet and juicy taste to their products with Sicilian blonde orange or a complex sweet and sour note with Sicilian mandarin.
Demand for provenance grows
Speaking exclusively to FoodIngredientsFirst, Jamie Blake, business development manager at the company, says while provenance is a growing trend for consumers, manufacturers have many choices and considerations for creating a provenance-inspired citrus product.
“In some markets and for some consumers, using named source materials is the preference. However, there are regulations and supply considerations to be taken into account. Certain regulations are in place for named provenance fruits, including the raw material originating from the named region or country,” he outlines.
Additional regulations are in place for products holding a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. This is awarded by the European Commission and certifies that fruits are grown, harvested, and processed to exact standards and independently verified.
“Our site in Italy allows us to draw on our Italian heritage to provide authentic flavors with real appeal. In 2019, as much as 45 percent of the world’s organic citrus fruit production came from Italy, and 80 percent of Italy’s citrus production comes from Sicily, so we have high standards to maintain when working and innovating with citrus flavors,” Blake explains.
F&B applications spotlight citrus
Citrus has been an on-trend, core flavor across various food and beverage applications such as beverages, bakery products and sports nutrition.
According to Blake, “bakery and confectionery are ideal applications for citrus innovation.”
“Lemon and orange lend themselves well to a range of products, including chocolate, cakes and biscuits – the fresh, zesty citrus notes cut through creamy flavors well to provide a balanced product.”
Sports nutrition is also ripe for innovation as consumers seek greater variety in flavors for protein powder and bars.
Dairy is another growing category, with different combinations of citrus flavors increasingly being used to add refreshing notes to ice cream and yogurt products.
The applications can also vary according to the citrus fruit – for example, Ligurian and Sicilian chinotto are well suited to soft drinks and confectionery products. However, they are very bitter and would not be consumed on their own.
“On the other hand, Calabrian bergamot is very well suited to Earl Grey and is an increasingly popular ingredient in cocktails, where the flavor packs a punch,” Blake adds.
Citrus flavors lend themselves particularly well to both alcoholic and low/no alcohol beverages, where blending different citrus profiles can add a refreshing and innovative twist to a range of drinks, highlights Blake.
“The more interesting citrus profiles can also help add more ‘adult’ notes to the soft drinks category. For example, hard seltzers (flavored, sparkling water with 4-5 percent ABV) are often available in core citrus flavors such as orange, lime and lemon.”
The company’s recent collaboration with PureCircle and Skinny Tonics on the launch of its reformulated tonics range featured flavors such as pink grapefruit.
“We are seeing a wave of ‘next generation’ citrus profiles with blood orange, mandarin, pink grapefruit and yuzu all becoming more prevalent. With new product innovations featuring citrus hitting the shelves all the time, it’s showing no signs of slowing down,” says Blake.
“World-renowned” citrus flavors
According to Giorgio Ferluga, technical manager, Synergy Flavours, Italy is world-renowned for citrus and particularly lemon, cultivated in the country for over 1,000 years.
“Processing the highest quality fruits directly from nature in a sustainable way enables us to deliver natural and authentic citrus profiles that meet the specific application requirements of our customers.”
“Our contracts and agreements with domestic suppliers in Italian growing regions guarantee reliable and efficient supply,” he explains.
Understanding flavor nuances
Synergy has also launched a global Citrusology program, which includes a series of webinars that help F&B manufacturers explore flavor nuances across regions and citrus varieties.
This program aims to help customers find their path to provenance, whether through a natural flavor that delivers a signature tone or by enabling provenance declarations through named source ingredients, such as the new Italian extracts.
“Understanding the notes that make up the flavor means that we can easily identify the different aromas that are responsible for overall flavor delivery, and this allows us to work with specific notes to create a scientifically accurate representation of a citrus flavor,” details Ferluga.
For example, Synergy’s analysis of a mandarin showed that the fruit was low in aldehydes (responsible for ‘peely’ notes) and high in a flavor compound called Dimethyl anthranilate (floral and orange blossom notes), which helped guide the flavorists in creating an authentic flavor.
By Elizabeth Green
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