A plastic packaging can infuse aromas into food and drink products without changing a their composition, developers claim.
The technology may revolutionise the way people perceive food and drink products and could have health applications, claims developer ScentSational Technologies.
The technology adds aroma to a product using a method similar to oak cask infusions in wine. Since the aroma comes from the packaging it has no additives and is a step above scented packaging currently on the market.
Steven Landau, chief technology officer for ScentSational Technologies, says the health applications for such technology will be in high demand.
The company's first viable consumer packaging application will be sold under the product Aroma Water and could cut down on the consumption of additives by consumers, Landau claims.
"Aromatic water is a lot different than the flavoured water that is currently available on the market," Landau told FoodProductionDaily-usa.com. "Some of those products aren't a lot different than soft drinks. There are a lot of additives and preservatives making it no more water than a soft drink is."
Landau claims his company is the first to embed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved food-grade flavoids into packaging. The technology can also be applied to other products besides water, possibly affecting consumer diets by altering perceptions of its product composition.
"There is a huge outcry in the US and Europe to have healthier eating and drinking options," Landau said. "This technology can alter how much salt, fat and sugar people perceive to be in their food."
Changing the minds perception of sugar or salt levels in a product can reduce the cravings for foods that adversely affect people's health.
"People are supposed to drink 95 fluid ounces of liquids a day and at least half of that should be water. However, people find water to be boring and often drink diet soft drinks instead," Landau said. "This will enhance peoples experience with otherwise boring products like water and can end the vicious cycle that occurs when people crave sweets in their liquids."
Philadelphia based ScentSational Technologies has been working on aroma infusions since 1997.
Aroma Water will be sold in the US under lemon-lime and mandarin orange varieties. The company will soon add mixed berry, peach and mango passion fruit options to its product line.