The TasteWise program focuses on achieving a balance between flavor, texture and sweetness in a beverage. When producing reduced-calorie beverages, manufacturers typically lower sugar content. To compensate for losing sweetness, it is common to add zero- or mid-calorie high-intensity sweeteners and taste-modifying flavors. Although this effectively addresses the loss of sweetness, the resulting beverage is likely to deliver a thinner mouthfeel and a different taste profile.
Using tribology, which is the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion, TasteWise is able to more accurately mimic and measure what occurs in the mouth as a beverage is consumed, according to Cargill.
Andy del Rosal, team leader of Cargill’s North American beverage applications scientists, said in the case of TasteWise, tribology is focusing on lubrication in the mouth.
“When you think about it, when you reduce sugar you are also reducing viscosity and how a liquid feels in the mouth,” he said.
“With this new approach, Cargill not only provides the ingredients to achieve desired sweetness and enhanced mouthfeel, but the science and expertise to achieve the right balance,” added Mr. del Rosal.
He said the new technology allows beverage manufacturers to reduce costs and improve the speed of product development through the system’s prediction capabilities and texturizing components. The components are texturizing blends developed by the company and marketed as Trilisse blends.
The initial idea behind the TasteWise system was developed by Cargill’s global research food business unit, said Mr. del Rosal. Two scientists from the group were attending a rheology conference and realized product developers were not considering the entire picture, especially the concept of lubrication in the mouth. They then set out to find a way to measure lubrication and developed a piece of patent-pending equipment that is at the heart of the TasteWise system.