There’s More to Taste than Meets the Tongue

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April 28, 20230

Believe it or not, there are many factors that alter our flavor perception. Not sure I really gave this much thought before now, but it makes sense. These factors vary greatly from your age to your health.

Did you know that your taste buds begin to degenerate around age 45, and taste loss continues to diminish as you continue to age? As a result, you may need to increase certain flavors. For example, the thresholds for sweet, salt and bitter are 2.5 times higher in the elderly compared to younger consumers. That means you may need to increase the amount of the flavor you are looking for as you age to appreciate the same perception you had when you were younger. There’s actually a reason many kids don’t like sauerkraut or maybe dill pickles until they are older when the flavor seems less intense.

Meal timing and choice are contributing factors. Your taste sensitivity is reduced for one to four hours after eating or drinking. Spicier foods have a greater impact on this taste sensitivity.

Smoking can damage nerve endings and decrease the taste buds’ ability to register bitter, sour, sweet and salty tastes. Yet, just two days after quitting, these nerves begin to heal, and a person may experience a sense of taste and smell that is stronger than before.

Taste buds can be impacted by high and low temperatures. Decreasing temperature may increase the response to bitterness and decrease the response to sourness. The opposite is true as well. Increased temperatures may increase the response to sweetness and decrease it to saltiness and bitterness. Who knew?

There are additional factors that alter our taste perception as well. According to FONA, your hunger level, life experiences, health status, adaptation, and taste medium can be factors. It makes sense. If you have the flu, your taste buds are less sensitive. If you tie a comfort food to a special experience or memory in your life, it brings you great joy because it affects the other senses as well.

When you’re tasting, you usually engage other senses as well, such as smell, mouthfeel, texture, hearing and more. They help us to describe the flavors and tastes we are experiencing. Enjoy engaging your senses!


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April 2, 20230

Consumers are growing more health-conscious than ever before. Because of this, the demand for health and wellness products is on the rise. Spices and herbs are replacing sugar, salt, and artificial additives. Consumers want natural flavoring, organic foods, and safe dietary supplements.

Spices and herbs have been in use for centuries both for culinary and medicinal purposes. They enhance the flavor of our food, and provide aroma, texture, and color to feed our senses. We use them to preserve foods, and many contain incredible nutritional and health benefits that protect from acute and chronic diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health, there is now ample evidence that spices and herbs possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumorigenic, anticarcinogenic, as well as glucose and cholesterol lowering activities, and they contain properties that affect cognition and mood.

According to Medical News Today, the top ten healthy herbs and spices are as follows:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Peppermint
  • Echinacea
  • Cinnamon
  • Chili Powder
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Cardamom

Spices and herbs not only improve the taste of food but are also a good source of vitamins B and C, iron, calcium, and other antioxidants. It’s like having a medicine cabinet in your cupboard.

Why not add a little spice to your life today?


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February 26, 20230

Although there is no definitive answer as to who actually invented the snack bar in the US, it is clear that it started with some healthy granola in a kitchen that ended up in bar form. They became popular in the 1980’s by athletes and fitness enthusiasts. They typically contained cereal grains, nuts, protein powders, sweeteners, fats or dried fruits. It was deemed a healthy and convenient, on-the-go snack that provided quick energy on demand. You would typically find them in the health food section of the grocery store.

Today, you can find snack bars in several grocery store aisles, like cereal, snacks, health food, and even in the candy aisle. You can also find them in gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies, gyms and grocery stores. We have a variety of flavors to choose from, such as peanut butter banana with dark chocolate, s’mores, blueberry cashew, lemon meringue, and so many, many more. They sound divine!

Snack bars are deemed to be healthy snacks for when you are on the go. It’s no wonder snack bars are all the rage! You can throw them in your bag, have some on hand in the car, quick snack when you’re out and unable to eat a meal, they don’t require refrigeration. The global market for protein bars is growing quickly and expected to surpass more than $2 billion by the end of 2026, according to the financial analysis site, MarketWatch.

What’s the catch? Many snack bars are highly processed, high in salt, and loaded with sugar. “Many protein bars are really just candy bars with a lot more protein,” said Dr. Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Would you purchase a box of candy bars to have on hand as quickly as you would a box of snack bars (also known as nutrition and/or protein bars)? Probably not.

You want to pay attention to the nutritional content of the snack bars you choose. Check the grams of added sugar and protein, as well as the number of calories. Look at the ingredients. Nuts and fruit are good. What about the other items? It is good to be informed. You might want to take a look at your go-to snack bar and compare it to sweets such as candy bars, cookies, and bakery items. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not saying don’t eat snack bars. They have all of the conveniences I mentioned above. You just might want to rethink whether or not you are eating something healthy for you. If that’s your goal – verify the ingredients or grab a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.


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February 6, 20230

We’ve kicked off the New Year!  Now is the time when the highest number of people from coast to coast are focusing on decreasing their waistline and improving their health.  The start of the year is when the most gym memberships are sold, new diets are started, and healthy foods, like protein shakes, are sold.

Protein shakes have been known to help lower body fat, retain lean muscle, and to help you feel full and lose weight.  They are ideal for the repair and growth of your muscles.  Protein shakes can supplement your diet and help you achieve your wellness goals.  While there is a lot of debate on the timing of when you should drink a protein shake, pre or post workout, most recommend after your workout to help you recover and refuel.

This all seems ideal! However, the big downfall is that protein drinks usually taste as bad as they smell. They have cardboard or chalky notes, especially from plant-based proteins.  Or, they can have a metallic or chemical aftertaste from artificial sweeteners. The mouthfeel is also not what you would expect. It can be too thin like water, too thick (because it is disguised as a sugary milkshake), or gritty because it doesn’t mix well and you have protein floating on the top.

How do you make them taste better?  Some say to add ice and flavor enhancers such as fruit, nut butters, or even a shot of espresso. Natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup can greatly improve the taste. Spices such as cinnamon, even cocoa powder or vanilla extract can add extra flavor.   

How do you improve the texture? You can use a creamier base like milk, almond milk or coconut milk, among others.  You could also add ice to the blender to chill it and give it some bulk.  Others add a banana or avocado to smooth it out.

All of the items above will help improve the taste and mouthfeel of your protein shake.  However, if you are a manufacturer of protein shakes, please reach out to us for a free sample of one of our flavor modifiers to improve the issues mentioned above.  At LifeWise Ingredients, we have proven products that give you the ability to reduce the sugar in protein shakes without adding real or artificial sweeteners while keeping the sweetness you desire.  Doing this helps keep the calories down. In addition, we have a few products that are GMO-free and add mouthfeel back to no/low fat products. They can also eliminate acidity, bitterness, mask off-notes and aftertastes from vitamins and soy, and optimize the overall flavor.

Click here for a free sample.


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September 21, 20220

Dressing Properly

The last few blogs we’ve talked about healthy foods, specifically salads, that taste good and provide vital nutrients that our bodies need. We also talked about how salads can quickly become unhealthy with the wrong salad dressing. Let’s dig a little deeper…

What doesn’t taste better on a salad than a flavorful and creamy salad dressing? It’s like the icing on the cake. We enjoy the creamy texture and mouthfeel, as well as the flavors that pop from herbs and fruits, the crunchiness of toppings such as nuts and seeds, and wrap it all up with robust and savory smells that enhance the flavor. This is like sensory overload. Are you getting hungry? I am.

To maintain the health benefits of eating our salad, we look to top it with a salad dressing that tastes good and is equally healthy. Well, here’s the thing… we’ve been conditioned over the last few decades to believe that food labels such as: light, low-fat, calorie-free, and sugar-free are good for us. So, a salad dressing with a label such as these should be okay to put on our healthy salad, right? In many cases, this is completely wrong. Several salad dressings with these labels add tons of calories, sugar and inflammatory vegetable oils. This defeats the whole purpose of eating that healthy salad. You might as well eat a candy bar.

The number one salad dressing in the US is ranch. We like to put ranch dressing on everything from salad to fries, chicken wings, sandwiches and more. It makes everything taste good! Unless you make it homemade, many ranch dressings contain heart-stopping saturated fats and salt. In fact, a lot of salad dressings with the labels used above contain large amounts of salt and fat. If it is fat-free, sugar or high fructose corn syrup are added to improve the taste. Your salad dressing could have more sodium in just one serving that you would get if you ate two bags of Lay’s Classic Potato Chips, not to mention the high fat content. Pass the chips.

Check out our two-part blog, “Boost your health with a salad each day,” for ways to keep your salads healthy and taste good. The healthiest dressings will be vinaigrette based with balsamic or vinegar and oil. Olive oil is considered be one of the healthiest oils to top your salad with. If you prefer creamy salad dressings, swap out the mayonnaise or cream with Greek yogurt. Homemade dressings will always be your best bet.

If you are a manufacturer of salad dressings, we have an alternative. Reach out to us for samples of our products. We have plant- based flavor solutions, sensory enhancers, and clean label solutions to reduce the salt and fat in your salad dressings while maintaining a great taste! It’s a win-win.

Contact us for a sample of our LifeWise SimplySodium Reducer which has the capabilities to reduce sodium by 40%!


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August 12, 20220

Consumers today are very concerned about health and wellness. They want to eat healthy and exercise to improve their lives. More and more people read the nutritional information on food packages and they choose healthy foods and beverages. However, taste is still the # 1 most important food attribute and consumers are not willing to compromise. Half of consumers say that descriptors such as low salt, low fat and low sugar.

Why are we so in love with salt? Simple, it makes things taste so much better, and it makes things taste more like themselves! It makes flavors pop. It is one of the most desired tastes by humans. It’s like magic. Salt can intensify sweetness and yet counteract bitter flavors. It even releases certain molecules in food to bring out some of the ingredients’ best flavors and make it more aromatic.

We need salt to survive, keep us hydrated, promote vascular health, support our nervous system, and even help us sleep.

All of that sounds great! But like most good things, too much is not good for you. An overabundance can cause problems. Too much salt causes kidney disease, obesity, inflammation, high blood pressure, auto-immune disease, water retention and even some cancers. According to the World Health Organization, we are encouraged to eat 6g of salt each day. The average person consumes 9g – 12g per day. Much of the salt we eat each day is “hidden” for the very reasons we are in love with it. It is added to food to enhance the flavor.

We have an alternative for you! Let’s look at something as simple as tomato sauce. Tomatoes typically require more salt to balance the acidity and bring out the taste of the tomatoes. One way to reduce the salt in this product is to use our SimplySodium Reducer. It is natural and GMO-free. SimplySodium Reducer enhances the salt perception and brings out the flavor of the tomatoes – making them pop!

Click here for more information on the application of our products.


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June 13, 20220

In last month’s blog, we shared how eating a healthy salad each day can help you to obtain the daily amount of vital nutrients, fiber and good fats that you need. The big question was, “Is this too good to be true?” Perhaps. There are actually a few common mistakes you can make with salads that reduce the health benefits, the primary culprit being salad dressing.

Salad dressings are like the icing on the cake. They add lots of flavor and encourage us to consume more fruits and vegetables, hence “A salad a day can boost your health!”

In an attempt to minimize the number of calories you consume you might choose a fat-free salad dressing with the thought that less calories in will maintain or create weight loss. Fat-free dressings are just that – free from fat, and they are primarily made up of water. Without the oil molecules, your intestines won’t absorb certain vitamins like A, D, E and K. Bottom line is that you need fat to absorb the nutrients from the vegetables and fruits you consume. It also helps to increase your fat satiety so you’re not hungry right after you finish that salad with fat-free dressing.

If you’re looking for less calories and fat, but still want flavor and all the health benefits of eating those delicious fruits and vegetables, you may want to opt for a light dressing versus fat-free, or make your own salad dressing from scratch. There are two primary types of salad dressings: creamy and vinaigrette. Creamy has a base of mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, heavy cream, etc. Vinaigrette has a base of oil and vinegar. The latter is probably your healthiest option, and it becomes even more flavorful with herbs and seasonings.

If you consume a light salad dressing, you may notice high acidic notes, a reduced fat mouthfeel or increased levels of sugar and/or salt. Bottom line, you want a flavorful taste, good mouthfeel and you want to absorb all of the vitamin and nutrient benefits from your salad. That’s why, at LifeWise Ingredients, we produce a variety of flavor modifiers to create a great flavor profile, improve mouthfeel, while reducing acidic notes, salt and sugar and all this while our product lands on the ingredient declaration under ‘Natural Flavors”. A salad a day can boost your health and taste good too!

Eat your salad today!


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April 30, 20220

Most of us are health conscious these days. We want to be healthy, not just from a weight and/or fitness perspective, but healthy throughout our entire bodies.

Evidence suggests that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day is good for your health and lowers the risk of many health conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one in ten American adults actually eat their recommended amounts of fruits and veggies each day. We could, however, easily include a salad each day to meet or exceed this recommended guideline.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.”

It’s important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, diverse, and all colors of the rainbow. By doing so, you will receive a wide array of minerals and nutrients. If you eat a salad every day, the primary side effect you will notice is a huge boost in nutrient consumption. Here are just a few examples of some of the health benefits:

Leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are all common in salads and they are a great source of natural fiber which helps to reduce your (LDL) cholesterol and control blood sugar levels, as well as avoid constipation.
Citrus, berries, bell peppers broccoli, tomatoes and carrots are rich in vitamin C which serves as an antioxidant to protect your cells against damage and improves the integrity of tissues, like skin and blood vessels.
Raw or roasted seeds added to your salad will aid your intake of healthy fats. Olive and avocado oils found in salad dressings help as well.
Spinach, watercress, kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts are rich in vitamin K which plays a key role in bone health and proper blood clotting.
Spinach helps to improve the performance of mitochondria that is found in our cells to help produce energy, and to inform and power our muscles.
Romaine lettuce provides two key ingredients that help protect the heart muscle: folate and fiber. High levels of folate have been shown to assist in the prevention of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
The water found in vegetables hydrates our bodies and is necessary for youthful skin tone and basic bodily functions.

Let’s face it, eating a salad every day is healthy because you get vital nutrients, fiber and good fats. And, one of the great things about salad is that you can be creative and make it with whatever you have on hand, including: lettuce, vegetables, proteins, herbs, sprouts, toppings and a dressing. Not only that, but they are cool, crunchy, and fun to eat with lots of textures, colors, and flavors. They are delicious, attractive, easy to make, easily ordered at a restaurant, and are good for you.

Sound too good to be true? Well, there are a few mistakes people make with salads. The primary culprit is the salad dressing. Stay tuned for next month’s blog to find out how you can enjoy a delicious dressing on your salad without the added calories, sugar or fat.

Eat your salad today!


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March 31, 20220

As we approach the end of the pandemic, we’re seeing the large impact COVID-19 has had on our health and nutrition. A new or renewed focus has been placed on our health. While things seemed so out of control for so long, such as working from home, wearing masks, home-schooling our children, not being able to see loved ones, and so much more, this is one area many have focused on and gained control over. Now, more than ever, people are more concerned with having a healthy lifestyle, fighting off diseases and boosting their immunity. Nutrition is a critical part of our health system and it’s a key to good physical and mental health.

According to the US News & World Report, the best diet overall for 2022 is the Mediterranean diet. While weight loss may be achieved, the health benefits offered are overwhelming, such as lowered blood pressure, reduced inflammation, lowered cholesterol, improved insulin function, decrease of heart disease and stroke, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and so much more.

The Mediterranean diet ranked highest in diets overall, and number one in best diet for healthy eating, easiest to follow, best for diabetes, best for heart-health, and best for plant-based. Per a review published in September 2020 in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, switching from an omnivore diet to a plant-based diet was found to help the majority of people lose weight, possibly because of the boost in fiber intake, as well as trading animal proteins for more plant proteins. Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spice are the foundation of the Mediterranean diet.

Why are people switching to a plant-based diet? It’s not just for the health reasons and its not because people are vegans or vegetarians. More and more people are focusing on a healthy diet that paces plant-derived foods at the forefront of the meal without eliminating all animal products. The greatest sales in plant-based foods are coming from milk alternatives, such as almond milk, coconut milk, and from meat alternatives such as the soy-based Impossible Burger or wheat-derived seitan. Today, 1 in 4 Americans report eating more protein from plant-based foods like lentils, quinoa, and tempeh. It doesn’t look like this is a fad either. Restaurants and food chains are offering plant-based food items. McDonald’s has developed the McPlant burger with Beyond Meat. It features a plan-based patty on a vegan sesame bun with vegan cheese and sauce, and other toppings. The patty and cheese are made with pea protein.

In addition to improved health and nutrition, a plant-based diet is also good for the environment and sustainable for our future. Sustainable nutrition is mega-trending!

For more information on how LifeWise Flavor Systems can help your products, call Christian at (262) 788-9141, ext. 4, or email ckreuter@lifewise1.com.


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February 16, 20221

Consumers love their snacks, but their tastes have changed from sodium enriched or sugary to better for you.

Mindful eating, a greater awareness of health and wellness, has created a demand for snacks that are plant-based, have increased protein, and reduced sugar.

In fact, limiting the intake of refined sugar was the second most widespread dietary preference/restriction among consumers in 2021, according to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey.

While high-protein snacks, bars and bites are popular choices as a quick way to boost energy and reduce hunger, they also contain highly processed ingredients like artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup.

But when replacing key ingredients to make snacks healthier, it can result in a different taste, texture, and mouthfeel. So as much as consumers say they want healthy, reduced sugar products, they still want them to taste good!

To keep the good taste in protein bites, protein bars, baked goods, cereals, drinks, dairy products, and desserts, LifeWise offers SimplySweet, which reduces the sugar and/or other sweeteners without sacrificing flavor. SimplySweet masks metallic notes in high intensity sweeteners and makes products taste more like real sugar. Less sugar also assists in calorie reduction, a plus in combatting obesity.

 


LifeWise Ingredients, LLC

3450 N 126th Street, Suite D
Brookfield, WI 53005 USA
T: 262.788.9141
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