CPGs and military ask 'Does this make scents?'

A number of companies, and the United States military, are reportedly evaluating a technology that enhances the aroma of foods and beverages through packaging.

CompelAroma, an “Encapsulated Aroma Release” technology from ScentSational Technologies, is an example of a technology that’s not a first of its kind, but is intriguing nonetheless. After six years of research, the company discloses that CompelAroma is being evaluated by 17 of the 25 top global food and beverage companies, but confidentiality agreements prevent divulging details. A similar situation exists with the U.S. military, which is testing the technology for its Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) field rations.

CompelAroma is a technology whereby food-grade “flavors” are added at the point of manufacture to plastic films, liners, sheet for thermoforming, bottles, caps, or other plastic packaging. These flavors are slowly and uniformly released into the packaged product during its shelf life. The goal: Improve the aroma to create the impression that they are enhancing the taste of the product in the package.

According to ScentSational, these aromas may also be released when the package is opened, during food preparation, while it’s microwaved, or during consumption. The flavors can be used with many different resin types, for shelf-stable products, or for refrigerated or frozen products.

Between this year and next, ScentSational anticipates several of these applications will become commercial. Last summer, Horsham, PA-based weight management products and services firm NutriSystem introduced its Aquaescents refillable water bottles with fruit caps that release desirable aromas that give consumers the perception that they’re experiencing flavors such as lemon, peach, and berry, without the calories, sweeteners, or additives. The 26-oz bottle is supplied with three fruit caps-which provide 30 days’ flavor each-and is available online for $14.95 at the company’s Web site.

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