Taiyo, a Japanese manufacturer of functional ingredients for food and pharmaceutical industries, has developed a taste-free green tea extract that can be used in beverage applications.

The new green tea extract, Sunphenon XLB-100, is believed to provide the benefit of green tea to any beverage application, while removing the typical bitter taste that is often related with green tea.

The company claims that the new product, an addition to the company’s portfolio of health ingredients for food and beverages, will expand new product development opportunities for beverage manufacturers.

The Sunphenon extract, which will be officially launched to global markets at Vitafoods 2012 in Geneva this May, is designed for use in non-carbonated beverages.

According to Taiyo, the extract provides antioxidant, anti-microbial, deodorant and fat burning activities; however, there is currently no health claim in Europe for this product.

The product was derived from the camilia sinesis plant through water extraction which is followed by a special treatment, and has been in development for about one year.

Taiyo Europe marketing manager Josef Skrna said that an important selling point of this product is that it is taste-free.

"The absence of this taste in Sunphenon XLB-100 offers a distinct advantage for manufacturers, who can now offer the health benefits of green tea without having to counterbalance the bitterness," Skrna said.

"Advances in science and technology have furthered our understanding of the body and its responses to develop ingredients that meet the on-going demand for improved health and wellbeing," he added.

The company’s green tea extract range includes a product that promotes concentration and reduces reaction to stress, a natural soluble fibre and a zinc delivery system for beverages and supplements.

Founded in 1946, Taiyo develops and produces emulsifiers, stabilisers, egg and tea based ingredients, as well as highly functional ingredients.

At present, the company manufactures more than 2,000 food formulations, processed eggs, fruit preparations, flavourings, emulsifiers, stabilisers and functional ingredients at various manufacturing facilities throughout the globe.