Finding the Right Flavor Level for Your New Product Formulation

Finding the Right Flavor Level for Your New Product FormulationFinding the Right Flavor Level for Your New Product Formulation

So you’ve developed your base formula, you have all of your functional benefit ingredients lined up, you even know what flavors you want to launch with, but there’s still one crucial decision to be made with regard to your product and it’s flavor profile: how much flavor should you use?

When you work with a flavor house like Renaissance to develop your product’s flavor profile, we will provide a suggested use level as a percentage per volume based on the information you have provided about the complete product formulation.

While these suggestions are extremely useful, they may not be spot on when all of the elements finally come together, and some small adjustments to the level are to be expected as you move through your final stages of testing and perfecting.

Intrinsic Flavor Strength

Even without any other factors coming into play, the natural strength of a flavor profile will vary for each individual formulation, but also, there are certain flavor categories that are just going to be stronger or weaker than others. 

For example, a mint flavor will generally be much more powerful and require a lower total flavor percentage than a more subtle flavor like a floral that could get easily overpowered by other flavor notes. 

There’s certainly nothing wrong with your flavor profile working together with other ingredients in your formulation to develop the final taste, but you don’t want the flavor profile that you spent so much time, energy, and, let's be honest, money, on to get washed out and overpowered by other elements of the whole product formulation.

Flavor Masking

Beyond simply determining the optimal flavor use level based on the flavor strength, you will also need to consider other factors that could impact the final flavor profile. One of the most impactful of these is the need to mask off-flavors that come about as a result of the natural flavors of non-flavor-based ingredients. 

Many formulations will have base ingredients that present with off flavors that you don’t want dominating or even coming through as an aftertaste on your formulation. These ingredients and the strength of their off-tastes might require a larger percentage of flavoring in the overall formulation. 

Some off-flavors aren’t so bad that they need to be masked completely and can instead be incorporated into or manipulated by the flavor profile. For example, if you are making a citrus-based drink with immunity-boosting functional ingredients, the flavors of those functional citrus fruits can be accommodated by the formulation by accentuating the desirable notes of the ingredients and distracting from any off-notes. 

So, instead of trying to cover the off-flavors of a citrus-based beverage with a super sweet vanilla flavor, it will work in your formulation’s favor to tell the flavor house you are working with about these ingredients so they can formulate a similar citrus flavor that fits with the current trends and the values of your customers.

Balancing Sweetness

Sweetness is a significant factor in nearly all beverage and dessert product development as well as a large number of snack offerings. Since sweetness is one of the 5 true flavors that can be tasted on your tongue, the level of sugar or other sweetener used in a formulation will have a substantial impact on the perception of the flavor profile in the final formulation. 

We’ll use the example of a citrus-based beverage here again. If say a blood orange soda is made with high levels of sugar or sweetener and low levels of flavor, the bitterness and sourness of the orange will be balanced or even dulled out by the dominance of the sweetness. Too little sweetness and the citrus notes become overpowering and unpleasant. 

In addition to matching the flavor level to the sweetness level, you must also consider the type of sweetener you are going to use. Sugarless sweeteners like stevia will likely leave you with aftertastes and off-flavors that will need to be masked. 

The choice between traditional sugars and syrups and the many sugarless sweetener options can have a major impact on your product’s flavor as well as its marketability. Turn back to your market research and examine the values of your intended customer with regard to sweetness to gauge what impact each type of sweetener could have on your product’s desirability as well as the taste.

Trust Renaissance with Your Next Product Flavor

There are likely to be many other individual factors that will need consideration as you move into the final stages of product development and testing. To be sure you are addressing them all, it’s important to work with a flavor house that you trust. 

At Renaissance Flavors, our industry experts are here to guide you through every phase of the product flavoring process, from ideation all the way to your final shelf-ready product. Our experienced flavor chemists will help craft the perfect formulation for your product to help you deliver the best possible experience to your customers.

So trust your next product’s flavor formulation to Renaissance Flavors and let us exceed your expectations.

Contact Canada's flavor company today to spice up your next product with that little extra kick of flavor!

What are you looking for?

Your cart