When it comes to functional beverages, ginger ale is widely known as a bedside staple for consumers suffering from an upset stomach. Beyond the health benefits, ginger is also a hugely popular flavor choice. Whether it is used in mixers for an alcoholic beverage, sipped in a hot herbal tea, or poured over ice on a hot summer day, consumers of all types are loving ginger flavors and are now seeking more natural options. That is why botanical extract experts, Applied Food Sciences (AFS) is making it easier for beverage formulators to use organic ginger by offering their latest water soluble ingredient, PurGinger™ organic ginger extract.
Flavor is still the No.1 driver for all food purchases
Since ginger ale was first invented (early 1800s) ginger has been a popular beverage flavor that is certainly growing in today’s market. It doesn’t matter how much nutrition or brand endorsements are made, if it doesn’t taste good, you can bet customers wont develop into repeat buyers. However, today what people deem as tasty and are willing to try is more diverse than ever before. According to market researcher Mintel, 57% of Americans consider themselves adventurous eaters and 82% are open to trying new flavors (2014). Accordingly, the top 3 US flavor companies reported in 2016 that ginger is still trending upward and pairing nicely with other seasonings and spices to really let the consumer have a wonderful sensory experience in their beverage.
Health is Important to Consumers
Ginger contains the active compound, gingerol. According to Suzanna Zick, a professor at the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine, once ingested gingerol is converted to another type of compound that relaxes the gastrointestinal tract by blocking receptors that cause nausea.
Despite the greatly accepted consumer anecdotal experience as an effective tool to reduce nausea, most of ginger‘s emerging science has focused on its antioxidant benefits. Recent research indicates that the active compound, gingerol, may also provide protective effects from vascular toxicity (Molecules 2016, 21, 886) as well as provide hepatoprotective effects (Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2016 Apr;389(4):419-28). Gingerol is an antioxidant and although it does not work through the typical reduction of oxidative species rather research demonstrates that Ginerol elicites profound antioxidant actions by preventing reduced glutathione (GSH) depletion and lipid peroxide accumulation. Finally, a recent human clinical study completed on 20 subjects demonstrated the effectiveness of 4 grams of ginger on accelerated muscle strength after intense exercise (Phytother. Res. 29: 887–893 (2015)
Benefits of Formulating with an Extract
While consumers love the flavor and ginger-based beverages are growing, ginger is a very difficult ingredient to work with due to its inherent lack of solubility. It can generally be questioned if some ginger ales even contain a real ginger ingredient or just engineered “ginger flavor.” The beverages that do contain real ginger are almost always pulpy and have some sedimentary-texture to them offering poor mouth-feel for the consumer.
THAT IS UNTIL NOW — Applied Food Sciences has recently developed an new organic ginger extract that they are calling, PurGinger™. Other natural sources of ginger ingredients used in beverages are essentially a ginger juice-like extract in which the flavor is squeezed out of the root. AFS has flipped the script, designing a powdered ginger extract that is highly water soluble and clear in solution — NO SEDIMENTS, NO PULP, and certainly no residual texture that consumers would otherwise look down upon.
Other benefits of using an extract instead of a raw ginger root? Beyond the ease of formulation, there are also benefits in cost and social responsibility. The price of incorporating a mere fraction of an extract is far less than that associated with using the whole root. Shipping costs are decreased and so is the waste from the used bi-products of the raw material. Time is also now cut significantly and saving a formulator’s time is saving overhead.
Contact Applied Food Sciences Today!
To obtain a sample of AFS’ organic ginger extract for your product today, please contact us by visiting our website www.appliedfoods.com, emailing Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 512-732-8300. AFS will also be exhibiting at BevNET Live in Santa Monica, CA December 5-6, 2016.