Synergy Flavours launches ‘Citrusology’ educational programme

Synergy Flavours has launched a new educational programme – ‘Citrusology’ – to inspire food and beverage manufacturers eager to tap into consumers’ continued interest in citrus. The programme includes a series of educational webinars to help food and beverage manufacturers explore the nuances of flavour across regions and citrus varieties. Webinars on lemon and orange have been recorded and are available to view online and future sessions in 2021 will cover grapefruit and lime.

Synergy has created this programme by drawing on its decades of experience in developing citrus profiles using a range of extraction methods and different techniques to understand profiles and guide flavour creation. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) coupled with flame ionisation detection is used to analyse essential oils and orange extracts to identify the key flavour compounds in different varieties of orange, for example.

Through the analysis of different orange varietals and types, Synergy was able to identify compounds which make each profile unique. As an example, analysis showed that a high concentration of a flavour compound called Sinensal can contribute to juicy notes, while the flavour compounds dimethyl anthranilate and gamma-Terpinene are likely to be responsible for characteristic floral and woody notes. Using these insights Synergy can create authentic citrus flavour profiles to inspire manufacturer’s citrus product development projects. Examples include: blood orange with ‘orange’, juicy and fruit notes; a mandarin flavour with more predominant floral notes; and a Floridian orange with peely notes.

Phil Ashman, Synergy UK flavourist, commented: “We use sensory evaluations by an expert panel to help convey the flavour differences to our customers. Sensory analysis ensures orange profiles discriminate well in the perceived flavour and mirror the data obtained from the analysis. Principal components regression analysis can be applied to simplify the complexity of the sensory data and retain trends and patterns among the flavour profiles and their flavour characteristics. The sensory data provides customers the opportunity to choose between a variety of citrus flavours with unique flavour profiles and identity the type of orange profile they are looking for. For example, a Floridian orange is more ‘peely’ in comparison to a Brazilian orange, and the Blood orange had balanced ‘fruit’ and ‘juicy’ intensities.”

Vicky Berry, European business development manager of Synergy Flavours, commented: “Citrus has always been a ‘core’ flavour but our technology and expertise, coupled with 130 years of citrus heritage, allow us to develop authentic fruit profiles and enable us to convey the nuances clearly to our customers. Whether it be through a natural flavour or the named provenance material, our approach and our heritage help our customers deliver the best tasting citrus products. We’re excited to be able to provide customers with support in every step of their citrus journey, from profile selection and stability to product formulation and labelling.”