Excess consumption of sodium chloride has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular problems. The food industry is under increasing pressure to reduce salt content, while not compromising on the acceptable taste. Researchers from INRA France, in cooperation with Unilever Food and Health Research Institute, investigated the interaction between odour and saltiness and found that aroma-induced taste enhancement could be used to substitute fat and sugar content in foods. The results indicate that when a consumer expects a certain flavour, the perception of saltiness is enhanced. The change in taste perception is thought to come about through odour. Enhancing food and beverage packaging with odours could compensate for the taste impact of reducing their salt content, thereby giving manufacturers another tool towards healthier formulation.
ScentSational works with the world's leading packaged food and beverage companies to apply its patented CompelAroma, a proprietary technology utilizing encapsulated flavor and aroma, to packaging. The CompelAroma technology is compatible with the range of polymers that are most commonly used in packaging. Addition of this technology to the packaging increases up front cost, but as it can also be used to replace ingredients or extend shelf life, it eventually provides cost savings. CompelAroma technology encapsulates additives which contain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved food grade flavour molecules in the polymeric structure at the time it is being produced.
The technology is compatible with the range of polymers that are most commonly used in packaging, and can be delivered through both rigid and flexible materials. The company works directly with the brand owner in order to develop a custom flavour for their application, in the form of an aromatic enhancer, and then teaches the producer of the packaging materials to incorporate it into their system. Additives that ScentSational employs do not significantly change how the materials run on equipment. These FDA-approved food-grade flavors are added directly to packaging materials at the time of manufacturing. During the process, the encapsulated flavors and associated aromas become integral parts of the package itself. CompelAroma packaging can be designed to have its encapsulated flavors be slowly and uniformly released into the packaged product during its packaged life, or the packaging can be designed to leave the scent of the product to its natural scent. Packaging materials can be designed to deliver aroma on the outside, the inside, or both, with standard barrier layers keeping the encapsulated flavours and aromas sealed within the package until it is opened. It offers the added advantage of lengthening product shelf life, and thereby reduce the cost of expensive waste and returns, adding fresh flavours back into the product throughout its shelf life.
Food and drink applications for this encapsulated aroma release technology include breakfast cereals, baked goods, confectionery, microwaveable ready meals, bottled water, beer and the like.
Smell is the most powerful sense and is the most underutilized tool in marketing. New uses for CompelAroma can be considered like, on microwavable products, the scent of what some term unhealthy food ingredients, such as butter, can be added to the packaging. Because there is a direct physiological link between smell and taste, the packaging can be designed to release a butter flavor without adding the calories or fat brought by real butter. Sweet smells can also enhance product taste without adding calories. If healthy products with unpleasant smells can be packaged to have an improved smell, that product would make a better first impression and therefore consumption might increase.
CompelAroma compels consumers to repeatedly use brands by incorporating an innovative new technology that generates powerful aromas and flavors that create a memorable and exceptionally pleasurable experience of the brand.