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How does beverage development work at AUSTRIA JUICE?

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As one of the most important manufacturers of beverage compounds, we at AUSTRIA JUICE advise you on everything from brainstorming to the finished product. How this process works in practice is shown in detail here.

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The beverage compound concepts are available as existing composition ideas that will be derived from the various trends in 2021 by our experts, as well as individual and tailor-made creations.
Thanks to the own production of fruit juice concentrates and flavours, which are the main components of beverage compounds, AUSTRIA JUICE has direct and ideal access to the best raw materials and provides its customers with a high-level team of experts with in-depth experience for all questions relating to the products and their development.

From the idea to the product

Together with the customer, the team from sales and product development draws up a briefing that is as detailed as possible in order to be able to map the customer requirements in the development process in the best possible way. The experts examine both technological and legal possibilities and feasibility with regard to the product composition.

After consultation with the customer, the expectations of the product are determined jointly. Based on these specifications, there are a wide variety of technological challenges for beverage development in the development process that must be taken into account.

Step by step, a product should now be created according to the desired requirement profile. The process begins with the selection of the optimal sweetener - this can come from the fruit juices used or from various types of sugar such as sucrose, glucose or fructose. For low-calorie beverages, sweeteners such as sucralose, acesulfame K or stevioglycosides based on the stevia plant are an ideal source.

In order to achieve a good balance between acidity and sweetness, edible acid such as citric or malic acid is often used, or lactic acid also. Used individually or in combination, these edible acids contribute significantly to the overall harmony of the drinks. The juice of particularly acidic fruits such as lemon is also used for acidification.

Colour and taste make the product

Colouring foods based on fruit, vegetable and plant extracts are used for visual differentiation: Luminous yellow tones are created, for example, through the use of safflower, intense orange from the colour pigments of carrots or strong red tones from black carrots. Elderberry and sweet potato give drinks an attractive appearance. If nature does not provide the desired colour shade or if technological requirements make their use impossible, a wide range of colourants for the food and beverage industry can be used.

The use of a wide variety of herbal and spice extracts brings new taste aspects to beverages, which range from sweet and floral to strong and spicy. Many of these ingredients have been rediscovered or are being used in new combinations. Cold brewed teas, for example, are made particularly gently. They convince with their unique sensory properties, but also classically hot brewed infusions result in a taste experience in careful coordination with the other ingredients.

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Vitamins and minerals as popular added values

Vitamins and minerals used in sufficient quantities enable the use of various claims for functional drinks or special sports drinks - although fat-soluble vitamins and minerals can be a challenge to product stability with regard to ring formation, precipitations and the associated sedimentation.

The possible claims for the product are checked in the development process based on the Health Claims Regulation in the relevant specialist department and made available to the customer. In general, we support our customers - as an additional service - with recommendations for declarations and product labelling. The experts in the relevant specialist departments can also provide support for more far-reaching questions about packaging design with regard to food law issues.

Stabilizers against sediment

Fiber is an essential part of the diet and is therefore also more and more used in beverage concepts. This also applies to the use of stabilizers such as locust bean gum or pectins. It may be necessary to use it in cloudy beverages in order to avoid or at least minimize undesirable sedimentation and segregation.

Based on the current trends of 2021, drinks will be enriched with proteins. This can be done either with milk-based but also with vegetable protein. Peas and other protein plants represent the basis for these valuable ingredients. Embedding the typical flavours of the protein sources in a harmonious overall product is a special art in product development.

Flavour profiles from nature

Flavour has a major influence on the smell and taste of the drinks. From flavour profiles that are obtained entirely from the fruit, and the use of flavours based on natural raw materials, to flavours that depict profiles that exist in nature, you can choose from an almost infinite variety of sensory impressions for the nose and palate. This range makes it possible to create individual and unique tastes. It presents the flavourists and product development experts with the challenge of finding the most suitable flavour for each application.

From 100% organic to alcohol

In addition to conventional products, organic products are still enjoying increasing popularity. A variety of organic fruit raw materials enable the creation of beverages with a low juice content up to 100% juices. Other raw materials from the organic segment also allow the creation of a wide variety of product ideas, whereby the latest legal changes are also taken into account accordingly.

Alcoholic beverages offer consumers a special form of enjoyment on certain occasions and in a wide variety of life situations. With new ideas for beer mix drinks, cocktails or spirits containing apple and fruit wine, as well as mixology creations, product developments in this segment are also part of the diversified portfolio. A wide range of concepts can be implemented, especially in the area of the trendy hard seltzer.

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Let's test: the tasting phase

Once the first laboratory mix of the desired product has been made, taking into account all of the ingredients and parameters mentioned above, the project goes into the tasting phase. The development is tasted by the customer and then the optical and sensory adjustments are made in close coordination until the desired quality is achieved.

The entire development process as well as the final fine-tuning always contain technological surprises and lead to new insights. On the basis of this knowledge, our experts have been expanding their broad know-how in detail for years.

The big question about durability

Product life and product stability are also decisive for development. If necessary, more extensive tests are offered in order to secure the requirement for long product quality with regard to stability in an accelerated process. Various options are available for these product stress tests. The test method is selected depending on the product composition and other requirements such as packaging and storage conditions.

Technology according to the latest standards

Once the customer product has been finalized, the beverage compound developed in the laboratory is manufactured for delivery on larger production facilities. AUSTRIA JUICE has modern systems for mixing, homogenizing, pasteurizing and filling the beverage compounds in accordance with the strict food safety standards. The in-house testing laboratory, which is state-of-the-art, continuously and meticulously monitors compliance with legal requirements and the requirements of our customers. The final aseptic containers for the delivery of our beverage compounds range from bag-in-boxes and barrels to arca/stainless steel tanks and entire tank trucks.

CONCLUSION:

AUSTRIA JUICE offers beverage compounds for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on the basis of individual and tailor-made product developments as well as already existing composition ideas from the in-house creative experts.
From the idea to the finished product, the customer is advised by experts with regard to the selection and composition of the selected beverage compounds as well as taste, consistency, colour, stabilization and shelf life, the technological processes and the legal framework that is required, among other things, in the production and marketing of " Functional Drinks" is to be adhered to, advice.

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Franz Helm

Franz HelmAuthor

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