The ingredient, branded as PurCaf, is certified both organic and non-GMO, said Jackson Zapp, vice president of sales and marketing for Applied Food Sciences. The ingredient has been under development for a number of years, he said.
“We have been playing around with the ingredient but it took a bit of time to make sure we had all the specs to ouir liking,” Zapp told NutraIngredients-USA.
Zapp said the current energy beverage marketplace is full of products stuffed with artificial ingredients. But it is also a marketplace in which consumers are seeking a buzz, first and foremost, and may be less motivated than some others by label claims about the provenance of specific ingredients. Is Applied Foods responding to a demand or trying to create one?
“We really take pride in going to a lot of beverages conferences to be present to listen to the market. And looking at consumer trends is a big part of our bisness even though we are primarily an ingredient supplier,” Zapp said.
“What I’ve seen is that organic as a whole category is trending now in food. It’s growing at a high rate in food and we believe that in the beverage market it will be growing, too, on the coattails on food,” he said.
"As the world of functional beverages becomes the norm rather than the exception, consumers are looking for healthful products that are non-synthetic, natural and preservative-free,” says Jim Tonkin, president of Healthy Brand Builders, a brand consultancy. “All of the new botanical and functional ingredients that are being incorporated into retail beverages should be required to assert ‘top-quality’ to meet growing consumer demands.”
Smoother energy curve
The ingredient’s characteristics make for a cleaner, smoother energy delivery, Zapp said.
“What we have kind of seen in general with synthetic caffeine is that when it hits your bloodsteam it is a very quick up and down effect. Using a botanical energy sources there is a significantly less jittery effect than with a synthetic caffeine and we think it is because of the other compounds present in the botanical ingredient will help the body to absorb that caffeine more slowly. We are in the process of doing some human clinicals right and to look at that blood response,” he said.
PurCaf is made from coffee beans that are 100% certified organic through Eco-Cert and USDA, non-GMO, and is a 92% pure caffeine extract derived from water-extracted green coffee beans. The sustainability/fair trade message is part of the ingredient’s value proposition, Zapp said.
“We do have good relationships with organic coffee farmers around the world. It’s all sustainbale. We are paying fair wayges. It’s ethically farmed and we’re proud of that,” Zapp said.