By processing variables and mixing ingredients, formulating unique and relevant beverages blends art and science. A beverage formula can consist of a mix of flavors, sweeteners, acidifiers, emulsifiers, colors, nutraceuticals, botanicals, preservatives and other ingredients.
Drink flavor constituents can be very volatile and react differently with ingredients. Nutraceuticals, which are now a very important part of beverage formulation, are very unstable if used incorrectly.
Drink flavoring comes from three major sources--natural, organic and artificial. Natural flavors are preparations from single substances obtained by physical processes from fruit and vegetable sources. Sometimes the source is animal based, derived directly from their natural state, or are isolated from their natural ingredients. Natural drink flavors are becoming more popular in the U.S. and internationally, as the trend toward natural food and beverages continue to grow.
Organic flavors are similar to natural flavors, but follow a very strict processing procedure and only use certified organic materials. Artificial flavors are substances chemically isolated from aromatic raw materials, or are synthetic. They may or may not be chemically identical to substances found in nature.
A Flavor Enhancer is an ingredient that has little or no taste or smell on its own, but which can enhance or modify the flavor of a beverage. This may take the form of a flavor modifier or a flavor potentiator.
A Flavor Modifier is an ingredient that enhances, suppresses or otherwise changes a drinks flavor. Flavor modifying agents can make unusual ingredients more palatable, for example by removing bitterness.
A Flavor Potentiator can increase the perceived intensity of the flavor of another ingredient.
Flavoring Oils achieve a pleasing and authentic fruit flavor in a water-based beverage. Manufacturers often use flavoring oils derived from citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons or limes. These flavoring oils are very concentrated, but sweeteners make them palatable. Masking agents hide an off-taste in products that can often include ingredients such as soy, vitamins, herbs or a number of nutraceutical ingredients.
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Sports Drink Manufacturers
There are several aspects that good sports drink manufacturers should consider when formulating their products, and all of these have to do with the purpose of sports drinks: to rehydrate and replenish nutrients. Sports drink manufacturers must invest countless hours not only deciding which ingredients will work best but also what amounts are appropriate and whether or not the final formula actually achieves its purpose. When shopping for private label sports drink manufacturers, it is highly advisable to ask about their formulation methods in addition to their references.
Sports drinks are beverages designed to help athletes rehydrate as well as restore electrolytes, carbohydrates, and other nutrients depleted during training or competition. Electrolyte replacement promotes proper rehydration, which is important in delaying the onset of fatigue during exercise. As the primary fuel utilized by exercising muscles, carbohydrates are important in maintaining exercise and sport performance.