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California-based company aims to revolutionize how consumers experience food and beverage products with natural modifier that enhances flavour, amplifies taste characteristics and improves “Kokumi” mouthfeel effect.

The U.S. subsidiary of one of the world’s top flavour & fragrance development companies is on a mission to unlock the flavour and taste potential in a broad range of food and beverage products across North America.

T. Hasegawa USA introduced its new natural flavour modifier Boostract to the North American market. This innovative new technology aims to revolutionize the way consumers experience food and beverages by adding or enhancing the effect of kokumi (which translates to “rich taste” in Japanese). Kokumi increases the richness of taste while maintaining balance between different flavours for a more satisfying experience in foods and beverages.

Developed over a two-year period as an exclusive technology by T. Hasegawa, Boostract solves a recurring challenge that many of the world’s top food and beverage brands face: delivering a consistent taste experience to consumers. The goal is ensuring the sensations of flavour, taste and characteristics are true to the original product recipe, which often presents a major problem during production.

“The moment a food is harvested or produced, it typically begins declining in taste, so an extra flavour boost is required to better define a delicate flavour note,” explained T. Hasegawa’s VP of research & development, Jim Yang. “Often the nuances of flavour complexity are lost during large scale production, so Boostract enables us to deliver a better flavour and taste experience for our customers and ensure consistency in their products.”

In addition to enhancing the kokumi effect and improving flavour, Boostract is an effective masking agent, eliminating unwanted flavour notes in confectionary products and ‘functional gummies’ while boosting the desired flavors in protein bars, ice cream and more.

Boostract also reinforces T. Hasegawa’s leadership in the sports nutrition and coffee/tea categories because the product can both mask bitter flavours and amplify the mouthfeel inherent in these beverage products. The Boostract flavour modifier can also boost the sweet characteristics of fruit notes, such as making citrus taste fresher, or highlighting the distinct flavour notes of an exotic tropical fruit in beverages.

Boostract is developed through three different mechanisms utilized by T. Hasegawa, including extraction, enzyme and thermal reaction technology. These mechanisms are used alone, or in various combinations, depending on the food or beverage product application. The end result is a clean-labelled natural product that is not yeast-based like other flavour modifiers and can even be organic certifiable in the future.

T. Hasegawa’s Boostract flavour modifier is currently available in dairy and non-dairy versions (in both liquid and powder form), with a tomato-based variation adding to the lineup soon. Additional Boostract varieties are currently in development, including Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee and Tea.

The iGeneration (also known as Gen Z) is the name given to people born between 1995-2007, following Generation Y. The “i” represents the technology that this generation has grown up with, for example, iPhone, iPod, Wii and iTunes.

Digital Dilemma

The iGeneration are known to consume large amounts of media on a daily basis, averaging between six and nine hours. They use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat as information sources and a way to connect with brands.

Growing Purchasing Power

As this generation graduate from school and college, they begin to have a growing purchasing power, and by 2020, they will account for 40 percent of the consumer market. Influenced by their level of control, identities and globalization, these behaviours and characteristics are shaping the beverage industry, as they look for products to improve their physical and emotional health, as well as helping the environment.


This digitally-connected generation are more concerned over safety, taking fewer risks and drinking less alcohol than former generations. In comparison to previous generations, the iGeneration have become conscious of what they put in their bodies. This is driving the explosion of variety in low alcohol or no alcohol alternatives on the supermarket shelves.

This is driving the explosion of variety in low alcohol or no alcohol beverages on the supermarket shelves, driving the desire for more sophisticated drinks. Mocktails are becoming more inventive with savoury and spicy notes, appealing to the iGeneration’s broad and adventurous palates. The iGeneration are one of the most ethnically diverse groups and therefore more receptive to ethnic flavours, driving an appeal towards botanical-infused drinks.


This generation have been educated to make healthier choices, particularly around ever-growing concerns over the consumption of sugar. With CSD’s in decline, bottled and flavoured water has noticeably increased as a replacement, along with cold brew coffees and teas, with more innovative flavours and ingredients.

Transparency is also valued, leading to a higher number of clean label claims. According to Global Data’s study in 2018, 42 % of iGeneration “are often or always influenced by how ethical, environmentally friendly, or socially responsible a product is in the following sectors” in comparison to only 28 % from the silent generation.

Healthy Grab-and-Go

The iGeneration are revolutionising the eating experience. Convenience has become key to meet on-the-go lifestyles and creating grab-and-go convenience opportunities for not just meals, but snacks and beverages. As told by Global Data, “Gen Z and Millennials are most likely to use out-of-home services on a regular basis compared with older age cohorts.” They often prefer to stay at home and use technology to get a food delivery.

According to a study by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and the Centre for Generational Kinetics, 24 % of the iGeneration order a takeout three or four times in a typical week, exceeding any other generation. It is worth noting that these deliveries are mostly healthy in order to keep up to go with their on-the-go lifestyles. As told by Tufts Nutrition, 41 % of Gen Z say they would spend more on foods they perceive as healthier, in comparison to only 32 % of millennials and around 21 % of baby boomers.

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