Patent-pending innovation EncapScent, which has been developed by US-based ScentSational Technologies, will enable food and drink companies to add food grade flavours to packaging to convey the brand aroma, the company has claimed.
The coating, which can be added in-line, can be engineered to release an aroma at different stages; when picked up from the shelf, during handling, opening, use or consumption.
The intensity of the activated scent, which is intended as short-term aroma, can also be adjusted based on the client’s preferences, ScentSational Technologies added.
The company is working closely with flavour houses to make custom flavours for individual applications. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved flavours are then applied to the packaging outer-surface and remain dormant until activated by the consumer.
“A scented micro-encapsulated coating (MEC) is applied to the outside of the packaging, after filling or assembly,” ScentSational chief technological officer Steven M. Landau told FoodProductionDaily.com.
“The aroma is protected by a microscopic cell, that when handled ruptures and releases the scent. There are millions of cells on each packaging application so cells can be ruptured and the scent released over and over again.”
“The coating can be applied on the production line. So with beverages we can apply it to the bottle, the cap, the label. It can be applied to any shape on the filling line.”
The development is safe for use with food, beverage and pharmaceutical products. It is not directly exposed to product ingredients and is compliant with food packaging regulations, Landau added.
“For food we are only using FDA approved flavours. These will not interact directly with food. If applied on the outside of packaging, it can improve and enhance aromatically.”
Client ‘wish list’
The innovation, can also be used to enhance the taste of the product during use or consumption, was developed in response to client requests for an inexpensive way to convey product aroma.
“We had our customers coming to us with a wish list. That was the origin of the development,” Landau said.
“We have been asked for many years to develop technology like this. We have tested it and it can even be adapted to ice cream. It’s a real game changer for frozen foods.”
“Until just recently, the sense of smell has been the most neglected sense in brand marketing strategies. Of the five senses, smell is the most powerful in driving consumer preference, conjuring up memories and creating purchase intent. As a result, our customers have been asking for a lost cost technology to deliver aroma from the shelf,” Landau added.