Functional Flavours


In the mid-1980s, the term “functional food” was first used
in Japan. This referred to processed food that included active substances which aided specific body functions. However,
in the recent past, a variety of names such as nutraceuticals, vitafoods, dietary supplements, and fortified foods have been used as an alternative reference term for functional food.

The Future Market Insights (FMI) expect a positive impact in the functional flavors market, following the continuous increase in demand for functional food and beverages. The growing wave of health conscious consumers are constantly on the lookout for healthier products, including reduced sugar options. Food manufacturers are often faced with evolving challenges, as in the case of sugar reduction where achieving the right balance of taste and health is a demanding task when eliminating or reducing the added sugar in the original formula.

Manufacturers often rely on functional flavors to create products as per consumer taste palettes, and to achieve improved health benefits by cutting off extra sugar. Due to these innovations, consumers can be offered a variety of food and beverages that satisfy their taste preferences and lifestyle, enabling them to reach individual and family health goals.



According to recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO), over 1 billion people worldwide are obese, this includes 650 million adults, 340 million adolescents, and 39 million children. Obesity leads to a range of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, various form of cancers, as well as mental health issues. To tackle the ongoing obesity crisis, it has been recommended to reduce the amount of sugar content in food and beverages, thus making sugar reduction or elimination a top priority.

ArômeSen: The Infusion of Taste and Health Solutions

The FSL–Aromatech business partnership began in 2015
with flavor specialists based in the UAE and France, working together to conduct necessary research to develop and create sugar reduction solutions suited for customers based in the GCC markets. This collaboration has fostered the creation of ArômeSen, a range of sweet enhancer flavors combined with customized functional agents which significantly reduce the standard sugar requirement in beverages, dairy, confectionery, and bakery segments, without compromising on the taste profiles.

The recent findings of the flavor specialists at FSL laboratories in Dubai also includes a functional flavor which helps decrease the salt content in savoury, snack, meats, and plant-based meat alternatives.


Reji Jose, Vice President, Food Specialities Limited (FSL), Julie Algret, Savory Division Flavorist, Aromatech and Ankur Punj, Business Development Manager, FSL Flavors during a taste test of functional food applications at Aromatech France.

Functional flavors with sweet characteristics can bring undesirable after-tastes. To meet this challenge, the ArômeSen range uses a combination of masking agents to eliminate unpleasant notes and balance the sweet profile, bringing it closer to the original.

A primary focus of the technical teams was on sugar reduction formulas for functional beverage lines. With GCC governments imposing hefty taxes on sugar-added drinks, the need for alternative and sustainable solutions are inevitable. Thus, the ArômeSen range of sweet enhancer flavors combined with active masking agents compensate for the sugar reduction. This type of innovation provides a competitive-edge to food and beverage manufacturers, enabling the creation of enhanced flavor profiles for products eliminating the standard added-sugar quantity.

FSL and Aromatech’s flavor specialists are capable of customizing functional flavor formulas to obtain desired profiles in the sugar reduction category.

The chart lists a variety of functional fruit flavors which are available locally.