Wixon highlights immune-boosting flavor trends

September 17, 2020

As consumer interest in immunity and foods that boost the immune system continue to grow, the Wixon Innovates program — a product development trendspotting project — is helping food and beverage companies formulate products with immune-related flavors and ingredients.

As consumer interest in immunity and foods that boost the immune system continue to grow, the Wixon (St. Francis, WI) Innovates program — a product development trendspotting project — is helping food and beverage companies formulate products with immune-related flavors and ingredients. 

“We’ve seen awareness of the connection between health and diet gain momentum as the virus continues to impact communities around the globe,” said Wixon marketing manager, Becca Henrickson, in press release. “The result of this is people are putting a greater focus on products that can help them support a healthy immune system. As demand ramps up for immune-enhancing products, food and beverage manufacturers have an opportunity to innovate with immune-supporting ingredients and flavors.” 

When flavoring food and beverages with immune-supporting ingredients, selecting flavors that increase or complement a product’s health perception is optimal. Some of the top immune-friendly flavors are often derived from ingredients with known immunity support or are flavors that naturally carry a health halo, including:

  • Elderberry
  • Beetroot
  • Blood Orange
  • Turmeric
  • Pumpkin
  • Green Tea
  • Honey
  • Açai
  • Grapefruit

Wixon corporate chef Ryan Kukuruzovic brings culinary expertise to the fusion of immune-enhancing ingredients and flavors. “Often when using these natural organic materials as flavoring agents in food and beverages, we need to compensate for herbal off notes or inherent bitter tastes that may occur,” said Kukuruzovic in a press release. “For example, when developing with a sweet, fruit-based profile like elderberry, challenges arise with its natural top note flavor, which can be bitter or medicinal-tasting at high levels. So, leaning into shared notes within other berries, e.g., cranberry and blueberry, creates a greater foundation, and ultimately, a fuller flavor impact. We demonstrated this in our Smoky Berry Elderberry Meat Stick concept.

“It is also important to consider the flavor impact certain types of fortification will have in a blend,” he continued. “For example, fortifying with vitamin C can increase the citrus and sour notes found in a blend. Depending on the application, we may want to mask the citrus flavor, enhance it, or pair it with a complementary flavor, such as umami, like we did in our Immunity Boost Seasoning Blend.”

To illustrate the immunity trend, Wixon taste experts developed various food and beverage applications using immune-friendly flavors as part of its Wixon Innovates program. These include Smoky Berry Elderberry Meat Stick and an Immunity Boost Seasoning Blend.