When playing Jenga, players have to carefully remove small wooden blocks to simplify a tower’s structure without pulling out the wrong block, which can cause the tower to topple. In some ways, formulating beverages is like playing a game of Jenga: Formulators add and remove certain elements to simplify beverage processing or meet consumer interests; however, if they pull out the wrong ingredient, the beverage’s structure can fall apart. Fortunately for formulators, hydrocolloids can be used as a patch to fill in the holes and hold the structure together.
In trying to create healthier beverages for consumers, beverage-formulators might reduce or remove sugars and fat, but this could have repercussions on the final product. “When formulators start taking out sugars or fat, you lose some texture and mouthfeel,” says Aida Prenzno, director of technology at Gum Technology, a Tucson, Ariz.-based subsidiary of Penford Food Ingredients.