Gat Foods, part of International Beer Breweries, Ltd. (IBBL), and Israeli startup Resorcix, Ltd., have introduced FLAVORWATCH, a natural, botanical ingredient with the ability to prevent Thermophillic Acidophilic Bacteria (TAB) spoilage in clear, fruit-based beverages. FLAVORWATCH can maintain the flavor of a beverage throughout its shelf life while mitigating TAB spoilage.

TAB refers to a group of nonpathogenic microbes belonging to the Alicyclobacillus family and is common in still, ready-to-drink (RTD), non-alcoholic beverages. TAB is able to withstand pasteurization and can multiply rapidly in acidic environments. TAB originates from certain ingredients that are frequently used in beverage preparation, such as sugar, pectin, water, and fruit concentrate. Good manufacturing practices can reduce TAB but cannot eliminate it entirely, necessitating periodic batch testing and isolation, which is costly, time-consuming, and not 100 percent effective. Indications of TAB spoilage in beverages include a hazy appearance, a clove-like smell, and a medicinal taste.

Additionally, pasteurization does not eliminate heat-resistant TAB spores. Instead, since pasteurization kills most vegetative bacteria and fungi, it eliminates microbial competition and stimulates the growth of TAB.

TAB will multiply shortly following the bottling process, especially in warm weather. Although nonpathogenic, the unpleasant results of TAB contamination typically lead to a large volume of customer complaints and can ultimately trigger a costly recall and damaged reputation.

FLAVORWATCH contains natural compounds with a proven bacteriolytic effect that disintegrate TAB cells in the germination phase. The product also prevents the bacteria from producing unpleasantly flavored and scented metabolites. FLAVORWATCH is based on a botanical oleoresin that naturally possesses anti-TAB spoilage properties.

FLAVORWATCH is classified as a natural flavoring by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and the Israeli Ministry of Health. Its mild, herbal flavor is unnoticeable in beverages, as only a minimal amount is necessary to maintain a product’s clear appearance and sensory attributes. It works throughout a product’s shelf life as a clean-label ingredient.

In both pilot and industrial-scale tests, a FLAVORWATCH-treated, pineapple-based, RTD beverage showed zero colonies of Alicyclobacillus over a span of six months. The same beverage continued to maintain its TAB-free status for a further eight months in an independent analysis.

FLAVORWATCH is suitable for a variety of still, clear, RTD beverages, such as fruit beverages, fruit-infused water, and iced teas. The product is easy to use, cost effective, and can be added to beverage bases or syrups in the preparation phase or directly to the beverage tank before pasteurization. FLAVORWATCH can reduce the need for added flavorings, as it allows for pasteurization at lower temperatures. The solution also substantially reduces the number of lab tests required for beverage products.

Gat Foods: