Heinz is marketing Plasmon® Risolac, a hypoallergenic infant formula with rice protein hydrolysate.
Heinz contracted NIZO food research to improve the sensory properties of Plasmon® Risolac, with the extra challenge of staying within the boundaries of the regulations for infant formula concerning the use of specific ingredients.
For infants with cow milk allergy, special formulas have been developed in which dairy proteins are replaced by alternative protein sources.This replacement often results in products with off-flavours and low scores in preference testing. Hydrolysates, typically applied in these reducedallergy products, are often a source of bitterness.
For improving the flavour of Plasmon® Risolac, the NIZO panel first defined the sensory characteristics of Plasmon® Risolac.
The typical offending attributes such as bitter could be directly related to the rice protein hydrolysate. Improvement strategies applicable in infant food were then defined and evaluated using a QDA panel.
Based on NIZO’s findings, the product formulation of Plasmon® Risolac has been changed. Specific amino acids with masking effect are added and the sugarcomposition is changed. This has resulted in an improved sensory profile of Plasmon® Risolac infant formula and a higher preference score.