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How to Nail Your Supplement’s Flavoring System

Flavoring Systems Tips
February 1, 2021

Fast facts and tips on how to nail your supplement’s flavoring system. Let’s go.

For marketers working with product developers at flavor houses or contract manufacturers.

A flavoring system is essentially a three-legged stool consisting of flavor, acid and sweetener. When one leg is short, the whole stool is unbalanced. The “art” in flavoring is maintaining a perfect balance between flavor, sweetener and acid. Below is a brief guide on helping achieve the flavor you want.

How to Nail Your Supplement's Flavoring System

Bring the base

Though the base of any formula will often taste terrible as-is, the base will still lend itself to citrus, berry, tea flavors, etc. Meaning, you should incorporate a flavoring system strategy that allows you to choose a flavor profile that would complement the taste of the base formula.

Bitter, party of 3

To mask bitterness in your flavoring system strategy, you have 3 options: sweetener, acids (citric, malic, ascorbic, etc.), a bitter blocker or masking agent. Your solution could be a combination of all 3. That’s why “sweet tart” flavors so easily overcome bitter notes. For extremely bitter tasting products the best approach is increasing acids and aiming for a “sweet tart” flavor.

How to Nail Your Supplement's Flavoring SystemIt’s all about layers

But before overcoming bitterness with sweetener and acid, you can try applying a very low dose (~10-20mg) of a flavor containing bitter or astringent notes. For example, pomegranate, fruit punch or grapefruit. And then layer the actual flavor you want on top, while adding the sweetness and acid levels that balance the stool.

How to Nail Your Supplement's Flavoring SystemComplement bitter with strength

If you have a bitter base that you can’t or don’t want to overwhelm with sweetener and acid, then choosing a complementary or strong flavor like green tea, lemon & tea, chocolate, coffee or mocha flavors can help.


How to Nail Your Supplement's Flavoring SystemSweet but powerful sweetener

Most pros in the flavoring system world know that if you want to flavor and sweeten naturally and your base contains significant bitter notes, stevia, monk fruit and erythritol can only mask so much. If so, then you can try a more powerful natural sweetener like OnoSweet™ (Reb M) alone, or in combination with a small amount of erythritol.


How to Nail Your Supplement's Flavoring SystemMimic the Acids Present

Regarding acids, you should try to mimic the acids naturally present in the fruit flavor you are creating. For example, apples have higher levels of malic acid while oranges have higher levels of citric acid.

Get more information about your flavoring system and co-manufacturer when you read through this.

Interested in how real humans taste real supplements? Go to our CSI Tasting Room.

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