According to a recent Mintel report, energy drinks are not slowing down, in fact, they are expected to have excellent growth through 2019. Part of the reason energy drinks remain one of the only categories in beverage to continue sustained growth is that they are evolving. “Clean Energy” is the latest advancement in the category, where consumer demand has sparked an interest in more natural and recognizable ingredients with added health benefits. What most consumers don’t know is that clean energy drinks are difficult to create. Using organic ingredients and natural extracts can create a major challenge in the sensory profile. Fortunately, with advancements in technology, Applied Food Sciences, Inc. (AFS) is demonstrating how to bring “Clean Energy” into action with their newest ingredient PurTea™, an organic green tea extract standardized for caffeine and catechins.
Green tea naturally contains compounds called tannins, which provide a brownish color found in teas and a bitter, astringent, flavor. Tea leaves, by nature, also contain minerals, proteins, chlorophyll and essential oils many of which make solubility in beverages difficult. Some of these minerals have even been shown to reduce absorption of the primary antioxidants found in green tea, called catechins.
“Green tea is particularly difficult to work with because of its flavor profile and its inability to dissolve fully in water,” says Chris Fields, VP of Scientific Affairs at Applied Food Sciences. “The key to creating a successful beverage ingredient using a green tea extract is by purifying the catechin stream. This process removes impurities that create negative sensory attributes, reduce solubility, and cause sedimentation. We are very pleased to now be able to offer an organic green tea extract that combines naturally occurring caffeine plus healthy catechins for an enhanced energy source that can easily be formulated within beverages.”
With so much scrutiny over the definition of what determines a “natural” beverage, consumers are becoming increasingly wary that even natural ingredients could have potentially harmful compounds attached to them. Many product makers are finding that certified organic ingredients, on the other hand, are very well-defined and thus easier to promote in bridging that gap of trust between consumers and their brands. Mintel reports that 65% of energy drink consumers are concerned about their safety (Mintel, Energy Drink Safety, 2015).
“We have a responsibility, within the natural products industry, to try and make goods that genuinely fit a ‘Clean Label’ definition,” explains Jackson Zapp, VP of Innovation at Applied Food Sciences. “At AFS we have continued to pioneer organic extraction methods to help eliminate any questions about quality or safety. Our PurTea™ organic green tea extract is another great example of a naturally-sourced energy ingredient that consumers can recognize and trust for healthier energy.”
About The Company: Austin, Texas-based Applied Food Sciences, Inc. (AFS) is a health and wellness organization that specializes in organic and naturally sourced botanicals such as organic caffeine, organic green tea, guayusa tea, and green coffee extracts. Applied Food Sciences, provides some of the largest global companies solutions in health & wellness, sports nutrition, and clean energy. For more information visit our website www.appliedfoods.com, call 1-800-345-9666, or visit our booth at Engredea #481 during Natural Products Expo West. AFS is also exhibiting at VitaFoods, Geneva, Europe and BevNET Live in NY.
Article first published on FoodDive