Instant Beverages on the Rise

With consumers busier than ever, there is a continued need for solutions that can be taken on the go and enjoyed over a longer period of time. In addition to convenience, consumers are also seeking products that align with the health and wellness trends that continue to penetrate the instant beverage category. Subsequently, product developers are challenged with creating innovative, clean label instant beverages that maximize nutritional value without negatively impacting sensory attributes. With a product that must abide by common clean-label guidelines, as well as deliver on consumer texture and flavor expectations, challenges do arise. One particular challenge when working with an instant beverage is producing a consistent and optimal hydration rate.

What do you mean by hydration rate?

Hydration rate is described as the rate by which an instant beverage powder hydrates when moistened and the optimal consistency the beverage maintains. An ideal hydration rate would feature a beverage that hydrates quickly and remains at a consistent viscosity so it can be consumed immediately or over a longer period of time, if desired. Conversely, a beverage that suffers from less than ideal hydration rate may continue to hydrate as the beverage sits. Creating a thick, undesirable texture for the consumer. 

Hydration rate in action

In order to see the true and real-time effects that hydration rate has on instant beverages, TIC Gums created an instant chocolate protein beverage formulation to compare the textural benefits of Ticaloid® Ultrasmooth CL to xanthan gum alone. The video below shows the formulations with Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL and xanthan gum alone during different points of hydration: 30 seconds and 20 minutes. It is easiest to see the difference between the two solutions by taking a look at the amount of residue that is left on the spoon after 30 seconds and 20 minutes respectively. The solution with xanthan gum alone shows that over time, the product continues to hydrate past the 10 minute mark and becomes more viscous compared to the solution with Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL.

How can Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL help with my instant protein beverage?

Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL from TIC Gums is a hydrocolloid system that enhances texture and suspension in instant protein beverage applications. This clean label, cold water soluble system dissolves easily into a solution allowing consumers to experience the textural benefits upon reconstitution.

instant protein drink bag 600

What other benefits does Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL have to offer?

Fortified instant beverages have an increased amount of perceivable particulates due to the addition of vitamin-mineral blends, fiber, protein and other nutritional ingredients. These ingredients, especially the protein selection, can also increase the astringency of the beverage. As a result, the textural properties of the finished beverage are impacted. To target texture in these protein beverages, product developers can leverage the benefits found in hydrocolloid systems.

TIC Gums used the instant chocolate protein beverage to test the textural benefits of Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL with six trained descriptive analysis panelists. While the sample with xanthan and the sample with Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL both provide viscosity and suspension, the sample with Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL masked the awareness of particulates in a way xanthan alone was not able to, avoiding an undesirable, gritty mouthfeel and dispersed in liquid more easily than the alternative samples, while exhibiting the highest hydration rate. 

instant protein beverage sensory analysis
Texture Attributes of Instant Protein Beverages
Texture Terminology Definitions  Typically Associated Consumer Terms
Viscosity [Initial] Rate of flow per unit force: the force to draw between lips from spoon, and the rate of flow across tongue  Thickness
Slipperiness [Manipulation] Ease to slide product over lips Slickness or sleekness
Astringency [Chemical] The feeling on the tongue or other skin surfaces of the oral cavity described as puckering/dry and associated with tannins or alum Mouth drying associated with products such as strong brewed tea
Awareness of Particulates [Breakdown] Amount of grainy, gritty, or lumpy particles or other inclusions in the mass Not smooth, gritty or grainy
Mouth Clearing The speed with which the sample clears from the mouth after swallowing or expectorating  Easy to swallow

 What other benefits does Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL have to offer?

Fortified instant beverages have an increased amount of perceivable particulates due to the addition of vitamin-mineral blends, fiber, protein and other nutritional ingredients. These ingredients, especially the protein selection, can also increase the astringency of the beverage. As a result, the textural properties of the finished beverage are impacted. To target texture in these protein beverages, product developers can leverage the benefits found in hydrocolloid systems.

formulation comparison instant beverage

 

Selecting gums for your beverage formulation

To talk with a Gum Guru about your specific application, call our technical support hotline +1-800-899-3953 / +1-410-273-7300 or chat live online.

instant protein beverage white paper