Taste experience with a combination of acids
In many food applications, both savoury and sweet, acidification is often used to regulate pH as well as contribute to overall flavour. One of the main challenges that food manufacturers face when working with acids is to find the right balance between achieving the optimum pH level for shelf life extension and at the same time delivering great flavour.
Food acids have different taste (sourness) profiles (Figure 1), therefore it is possible to manipulate flavour delivery by using different acid or combination of acids.
Figure 1. Flavour Profile of Acids (Graph source: Corbion)
Citric acid is commonly used in food and beverages but it has an initial sharpness which could hinder the release of other flavours. Lactic acid has a milder taste profile but a more lingering taste.
By partially replacing citric acid with lactic acid (Figure 2), it is possible to reduce the initial sharpness which will then allow an earlier flavour release with a more lingering taste.
Figure 2. Taste Impact of Acid Combination (Citric, Lactic) (Graph source: Corbion)
The same concept can also be applied to products containing acetic acid and tartaric acid since both also have a strong sharpness upfront.
Lactic acid has also been known to enhance dairy flavour (creaminess), but it could also enhance savoury flavours such as meat and seafood, tomato and some herbs and spices (i.e. black pepper, ginger, chilli powder).
Applications that can benefit from the incorporation of lactic acid include dairy based products (i.e. cheese powder, yoghurt, dairy flavoured beverages), sauces, gravies, marinades, seasoning blends, instant soups, salad dressings, etc. The addition of lactic acid food allows manufacturers to boost flavour intensity or achieve cost saving by reducing the addition level of certain expensive ingredients in their products.
Axieo proudly represents Corbion in Australia and New Zealand, offering a wide range of lactic acid liquids and powders, as well as lactic acid derivatives. Contact us today to learn more.