Flavor Challenges/Solutions: High Protein Products Presentation

Originally Published: May 8, 2015
Last Updated: March 10, 2021

“Flavor Challenges/Solutions: High Protein Products” was presented at the 2015 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar by Keith Cadwallader, Ph.D., Professor of Food Chemistry, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign.

Abstract: Off-flavors limit the consumer acceptability of high protein-containing functional foods and beverages. Bitterness, astringency and off-odors often accompany the proteins used in their formulation. Furthermore, proteins can selectively bind added flavorings, leading to flavor fade or to imbalanced flavor. This presentation will focus on off-flavors and flavor binding interactions that occur in protein-rich functional foods and beverages. Special attention will be given to how this problem may be overcome by use of masking and taste blocking agents, tailored flavorings, and other strategies designed to reduce and/or complement the inherent flavors of these products, thus resulting in a finished product with an acceptable flavor profile.

Excerpt from the written summary of this presentation: If there is any confusion about that flavor, then it has failed. “The flavor should develop quickly, be balanced and get more desirable the longer it is tasted,” added Cadwallader. Flavors also need compatible mouthfeel and texture. A chocolate beverage, for instance, should be creamy, viscous and thick—instead of watery or thin. Lack of off-flavors and minimal aftertaste are also important attributes for success.

Functional foods often contain ingredients that contribute harsh flavors and lack any inherent positive flavors. “Most people are not heard saying ‘mmmm, taste that soy flavor,’” Cadwallader joked. While dairy proteins are generally pleasant, most functional ingredients are not. And functional beverages are seen by consumers as members of a food category, not a functional-food category, meaning a chocolate beverage will be compared to other chocolate beverages—not to other functional foods. Consumers do not forgive off-notes in foods and now expect high-quality functional beverages.

Click here to view the written summary “Flavor Challenges with High Protein Levels” of this presentation.

Click on the button below to download a PDF of Cadwallader’s PowerPoint presentation “Flavor Challenges/Solutions: High Protein Products.”

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