KANSAS CITY — New ingredients are focusing on improving flavor and mouthfeel in beverages that contain whey protein. Several were featured at SupplySide West held Oct. 15-19 in Las Vegas.

Arla Foods Ingredients, Viby, Denmark, has launched Lacprodan Iso.Water, a whey protein isolate ingredient designed for clear beverages, especially ready-to-drink protein beverages. It offers good mouthfeel without the taste of protein, according to the company.

“In the past, manufacturers have been able to use whey protein to meet demand for high-quality protein content and convenience,” said Troels Laursen, director, health and performance nutrition at Arla Foods Ingredients. “Now they can add great taste and mouthfeel to that list, ticking all the boxes for a successful product launch.”

FrieslandCampina Ingredients, which has a North American office in Paramus, N.J., sampled Nutri Whey Isolate Clear in a Honeycrisp apple and rosemary white tea beverage at SupplySide West. Nutri Whey Isolate Clear offers clarity across a wider pH range and delivers lower astringency and a less drying mouthfeel, according to the company. The whey protein isolate is 90% protein.

Hilmar Ingredients, Hilmar, Calif., promoted 9021 whey protein isolate derived from sweet dairy whey and manufactured by a cross flow filtration process. The ingredient’s rapid time to clear, its clean flavor and its protein nutrition make it a good choice for use in low pH beverage dry mixes, according to the company. It is suitable for soy-free applications.

Synergy Flavors, Inc., Wauconda, Ill., promoted its new Dairy by Nature portfolio of custom taste systems, which have been shown to improve taste and texture in beverages, including clear beverages containing whey protein.

Synergy Flavors at SupplySide West sampled water with a vanilla flavor and sucralose as well as water with a vanilla flavor, sucralose and its Dairy by Nature system. The dairy protein matrix in the ingredient provides more than a top flavor note, said Heidi Liu, product manager for dairy taste for Synergy Flavors. Its functionality provides a creamy texture in beverages, and it has been shown to mask aftertaste astringency because of its slow release, she said.

Synergy Flavors has access to dairy protein expertise through its parent company Carbery, an Irish dairy cooperative, she said.

“Each application scenario poses unique challenges,” said Corunda Pruitt, Ph.D., senior technologist for Synergy Flavors. “However, whether formulating plant-based products or creating reduced-fat dairy, the end goal is a food experience that forms an emotional connection with the consumer. Dairy by Nature is designed to supply a positive organoleptic experience, including taste, texture, body and mouthfeel across a spectrum of food matrices.”

Besides beverages, Synergy Flavors also will position Dairy by Nature for use in dairy items, baked foods, confections and savory applications like dips or cheese.

Arla Foods Ingredients featured two other ingredients besides Lacprodan Iso.Water.

The company has introduced a Lacprodan Hydro.PowerPro for powder shakes and R.-T.-D. protein beverages. The ingredient contains whey protein hydrolysate, which is more readily absorbed than intact whey protein, according to Arla Foods Ingredients. This trait gives the body quicker access to amino acids and potentially reduces muscle damage. Whey protein hydrolysates have a drawback in they may have a bitter taste not found in traditional whey protein isolates or concentrates. Hydro.PowerPro is 50% less bitter than comparable products with a similar degree of hydrolysis, according to Arla Foods Ingredients.

“The benefits of whey protein hydrolysate for post-exercise recovery make it ideal for sports nutrition applications,” said Anne Louis Friis, health and performance nutrition manager at Arla Foods Ingredients. “However, its unpleasant taste is a familiar challenge during product development. Lacpropdan Hydro.PowerPro solves this problem, offering all the power of whey hydrolysates without the bitter taste. It paves the way for a new generation of protein products that act quickly but also taste great.”

In the protein bar category, Arla Foods Ingredients offers Lacprodan ISO.WheyBar, a blend of whey protein isolate and casein. The blend allows manufacturers to upgrade their protein bars without spending time on sourcing, balancing and blending numerous ingredients.

“Bars are a hugely popular way for mindful consumers to increase their protein intake on the go,” said Joe Katterfield, health and performance nutrition development manager at Arla Foods Ingredients. “Premium positioning can be achieved by incorporating whey protein isolate, but this is often difficult. Lacprodan ISO.WheyBar allows manufacturers to take protein bars to the next level without the headache of handling numerous protein ingredients.”