Tastetech is a British company specialized in “Controled Release Food Flavourings and Ingredients” (using the same words that you can find in their website www.tastetech.com).
As chewing gum technology moves to a higher complexity level worldwide, the need for encapsulated systems becomes more and more important. 20 years ago there were very few gums in the market using encapsulated systems. Today, consumers are much more demanding and, often, gums are sold as an “experience” more than just as a product, and this is a worldwide trend. Chewing gum producers must use more sophisticated formulations to meet these expectations.
When we think “encapsulation”, the first thing that comes to our mind is “flavour”. Encapsulated flavours play a critical role in one of the main aspects of the chewing gum: Long lasting (but also on the first impact!). By using encapsulated flavours, we can extend the perception of the flavour for a longer time. But then, we know that that perception is also linked to “sweetness”, and here “encapsulated intensive sweeteners” can play an important role. Tastetech is also producing those and I took this image from their web-site to illustrate this idea:
By combining the right encapsulated flavours and sweeteners we can clearly improve the quality of the gum. Top brands use those elements in their formulations.
We should not forget acids, as they can also be encapsulated, and they also play a role in the taste perception. Fruit flavours cannot be complete without the right acid in the chewing gum composition (citric, malic, tartaric,…)
And finally, and very important, the encapsulation of active ingredients. As we find more and more functional chewing gums in many countries (Japan is my personal favourite for that!) it becomes more necessary to protect those ingredients (which sometimes can be sensitive to temperature, oxidation, etc…), to control the release from the gum into the mouth, sometimes to mask undesirable taste or to provide a right flowability which helps in the handling of the whole. The encapsulation of those actives will clearly improve those characteristics versus a non-encapsulated version.