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Novel botanical ingredients for beverages
Clinics in Dermatology (2009) 27, 210–216
Novel botanical ingredients for beverages
Analyze and Realize AG, Waldseeweg 6, Berlin 13467, Germany
Abstract Natural substances are generally preferred over chemical ones and are generally seen ashealthy. The increasing demand for natural ingredients, improving health and appearance, is alsoattracting beverages as the fastest growing segment on the functional food market. Functional beveragesare launched as fortified water, tea, diary or juices claiming overall nutrition, energy, anti-aging orrelaxing effects. The substitution of so called superfruits, such as berries, grapes, or pomegranatedelivers an effective range of beneficial compounds, including vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, and anti-oxidants. In this context, new exotic and African fruits could be useful sources in the near future. Teasand green botanicals, such as algae or aloe vera are also rich in effective bioactives and have been usedtraditionally. The botanical kingdom offers endless possibilities.
2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Beverages do more than quench thirst. Bioactive ingre-
beverages) are increasing strongly. In the functional food
dients should balance nutrional deficits, support physical and
category, functional beverages are the fastest growing segment.
mental health, and may improve beauty from within.
In the forefront of consumer interest, are substances with anti-
Costumers tend to favor a healthy lifestyle and the nutrional
aging, energy supplying, relaxing, or beauty enhancing effects.
choices that go with it. As natural substances are clearly
Functional beverages (among them sports and perfor-
preferred over chemical ones, functional botanical ingredi-
mance drinks, energy drinks, ready-to-drink teas and
ents are more popular than ever on the beverage market. New
designer waters) have acquired a claim to being healthy
functional beverages, like fortified water, tea and/or diary
recently. They meet the consumers' demand for good taste
products have increased their convenience, novelty, fun and
and ingredients that are good for physical fitness and mental
image, but maintain their status as healthy drinks.
well-being. Consumers riding the exercise and healthy diettrend demand a measurable, noticeable health benefit fromtheir functional beverage, and they are growing in number.
This development has led to functional beverages becoming
mainstream, and big beverage companies are merging with oracquiring small successful companies. Still as this contribution
While some established nutritional markets, like dietary
attempts to show, there is room for new ideas and botanical
supplements, have been growing more slowly than they did in
enhancements discovered by food science.
the 1990s, specific other segments (such as functional
There are numerous advantages to using botanical
extracts in beverages, functional or otherwise. They offer a
⁎ Waldseeweg 6, Berlin 13467, Germany. Tel.: +49 30 40008100; fax:
wide range of active components and functions and a wide
range of known raw materials, which means little or no
consumer education is necessary prior to bringing a new
0738-081X/$ – see front matter 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Novel botanical ingredients for beverages
product to market. There is still room for new uses of known
studied for its ability to prevent E. coli bacteria from adhering
raw materials, either by creating new applications or taste
to the epithelial wall of the urinary tract, limiting the
profiles or by scientific elucidation of previously unknown
development of a urinary tract infectioCranberries have
functions. The natural colors and overall natural origin of
a similar effect on H. pylori and the gastric wall, especially
botanical extracts also lend themselves very well to
when administered in combination with traditional
addressing the consumers' desire for more nature in their
drinks, which promotes the healthy properties inherent in
Bilberry has been famous for its beneficial effect upon
them. Additionally, there is an increasing trend across the
visual acuity for a long time. Anthocyanins in bilberry have
market toward using botanicals, which is supported by
produced positive results for night vision,an effect that has
marketing their natural and beneficial aspects.
anecdotally been reported by pilots as far back as in World
There is also an increased preference for plant ingredients
War II. Specifically, these anthocyanins can increase
over animal derived ingredients, but they should be organic,
capillary resistance, reduce abnormal vascular permeability,
not merely natural. As a consequence, medicinal plants used
and scavenge free radicals. Extracts of bilberry recently have
traditionally in Europe have found their way into beverages in
shown effectiveness in improving visual function in adults
small amounts, lending not only new taste, but also the appeal
with overworked eyes, which is certainly a problem in the
of a health-promoting ingredient, even if their concentration is
insufficient for any actual pharmacologic effect.
Another well-known and popular fruit, the strawberry,
Another trend is the increasing consumer interest in ethnic
also packs quite a healthy punch.Its range of active
and traditionally used products. Noni, Cat's claw and
substances (including anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and other
Baobab are examples of plants used in new products that
phytonutrients) can decrease the effect of toxins and limit
oxidative damage to DNA, which is key to antioxidantprotection against a number of forms of neurodegenera-tion and cancer.Antioxidants derived from strawberriesalso play a role in helping to lower the risk of
Anthocyanins are also abundant in grapes, as are
Using fruit as ingredients for beverages means using a
proanthocyanidins, quercetin, and resveratrol.These are
marketing advantage based on the aura of health surrounding
central to this berry's noted benefits for atherosclerosis and
fruit.Fruit beverage brands that reach $60 million in almost
cardiovascular disease, including decreased lipid oxidation,
no time demonstrate this. Combining innovative packaging,
cholesterol aggregation, reduced blood pressure, and
new delicious taste, and clever marketing is more successful
improved vascular endothelial function, as well as reduced
than trying to deliver a health benefit, as that can be regarded
cell adhesion, a factor in inflammation.
Other berries have shown impressive benefits, according
There are hundreds of beneficial compounds contained in
to various research results. Blackberries were shown to
the various Among these compounds are poly-
impede tumor formation in the oral cavity,while
unsaturated fatty acids, flavanols (anthocyanins and
anthocyanins and other phenolics present in boysenberries
proanthocyanidins), flavonols (quercetin), and ellagic acid,
and black currants were found to protect cellular DNA
all of which combined are not only anti-oxidant, but also
against oxidative damage, Black currants combined with
deliver antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-mutagenic
bilberries, lignonberries, and raspberries may protect against
lipid oxidation and increase antioxidant capacity in plasma.
Among the varieties of domestic fruit, sea buckthorn
Raspberries work well with other berries. Combined with
(Hippophae rhamnoides) recently has drawn attention to
blueberries, they inhibit mutations in breast and cervical
itself, because of its nutrient density of almost 200 active
cancer cells. Joined with cloudberries, they counteract both
phytochemicals, among them unsaturated fats, carotenoids,
gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.
and high amounts of vitamin C.The juice consists of three
A clever approach to get daily rations of fruit, is to use
phases, each containing a different substance profile and
known fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, and
lending to different beverage applications with high manu-
cranberries in fruit smoothies or juices. As science keeps
facturing potential. The plant is native to northern Europe and
substantiating the age-old adage that fruit is good for you
Asia, where it has been a traditional herbal remedy.
and supplies the consumer with knowledge regarding the
Blueberries, native to Europe and North America, help
active substances contained in fruit and their effects, the
protect the brain and central nervous system by increasing
beverage industry gladly provides new means of eating
serum antioxidant status, which is linked to a reduced risk of
them without the hassle of preparation. One new approach
chronic and degenerative diseases.Blueberries and their
is the combination of various domestic berries to achieve a
close relatives, cranberries, have been shown to be effective
synergy of effects, while using the appeal of a new product
in combating bacterial infection, especially in the urinary tract.
without the regulatory hassle of introducing a new fruit to
This property, especially in cranberry juice, has been well
The yellow ximenia (Ximenia spp.) fruit traditionally is
eaten raw or made into jellies, jams, or syrup. Therefore, it is
For those who want to brave the regulatory hassle,
an ideal food ingredient for a variety of applications—
however, a variety of new African fruit are becoming
another fruit whose potential is untapped.
Mabola plum (Parinari curatellifolia) is another tradi-
tional African multi-purpose plant with medicinal uses for its
Baobab (Adandonia digitata) has a long history of
bark, cosmetic uses for its oil, and beverage use for its
traditional use in ancient Egypt as a treatment against
yellow, plum-like fruit. The fruit pulp contains vitamin C,
fevers, dysentery, and bleeding wounds, and it has a long
sugar, and mineral ions, making it a valuable basis for soft
history of nutritional and medical use in Africa. The pulp,
rich in vitamin C,is used today to make drinks,
The açai berry (Euterpe oleracea Mart), native to the
because it is dissolved easily in water and has a pleasing
Amazon rain forests and a traditional staple of Amazo-
taste. Fermented milk drinks and iced drinks using the
nian diets, has drawn attention to itself recently,
pulp also are popular. The Baobab's anti-oxidant and
particularly in the United States. This small black berry
anti-inflammatory properties make it valuable for a
boasts high polyphenol content and an omega-6 to
variety of applications in beverages; it also has proven
omega-9 ratio comparable to olive In addition,
to be an effective prebiotic ingredient.Baobab pulp can
its anthocyanin content is up to 33 times higher than that
be used in soft drinks, natural fruit smoothies, fruit
of red wine. There are other benefits, such as a nearly
fillings, jams, sauces, puddings, and desserts. Clearly, the
perfect amino acid profile and essential trace mineral
possibilities for product development using Baobab fruit
contents. Because of these many beneficial substances,
açai is being hailed as a superfood with potent antiaging
Among the “new" African botanicals with potential use
and beauty enhancing properties. In addition, it has a
for beverages, Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)
pleasing flavor reminiscent of boysenberry or cherry with
is among the “new" African botanicals with potential use for
chocolate overtones. While research into açai's actual
beverages, but it is better known for its application in
disease prevention capability is scarce at present, there
medicine, specifically as an effective therapy for rheumatoid
are indications that it may be effective against a variety
arthritis.Recently, attempts to cultivate this plant
of diseases that have proven susceptible to black
(which, until recently, could be harvested only in the wild)
have proven successful. Its traditional use as a digestive aid
The berries of Lycium barbarum, the Himalayan goji,
has prompted research into it's possible application as a
have shown neuroprotective and hepatoprotective proper-
beverage. If successful, the already high acceptance of the
ties.Also called wolfberry, the plant is related to the
plant by physicians and consumers will give it a head start in
tomato and has been a diet staple in China for several
thousand years. The antioxidant properties of wolfberry are
The sausage tree (Kigelia pinnata), with the suggestive
among the highest found in the plant kingdom, and
shape of its fruit, has a long history of medicinal and food
traditional usage attests potential benefits against cardio-
use, including being a common ingredient in traditional
vascular and inflammatory diseases, diabetes, premature
beer. Extracts made from the fruit have displayed potent
aging, memory deficiencies, vision degeneration, lung
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.A variety of
disorders, and even some forms of cancerIt has been
food and beverage applications using these extracts are
cultivated for a variety of food and beverage applications,
possible, not to mention expanding on the existing tradition
because its pleasant nut-like taste is complementary to a
of the fruit as a beer ingredient. A parallel development of
nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, or supplement, applications on
Noni (Morinda citrifolia) is a fruit traditionally used in
the basis of Kigelia's many potent health-promoting
Polynesia for hundreds of years. Its uses range from
properties would increase recognition and acceptance of
medicinal to dietary; its substances of content include
vitamins C and E, amino acids, numerous minerals,
Another plant with a long history of use (in this case,
polysaccharides and carotenoids, and omega-3 and-6 fatty
the Stone Age) is marula (Sclerocarya birrea). All parts of
acids. Many health benefits are expected from this nutrient
the plant are used; its plum-like fruits are traditionally
profile, and there are indications from traditional usage of the
brewed into a beer, but also lend themselves very well to
fruit for possible anti-cancer mechanisms.
being used in the beverage industry.Marula flavor is
The tropical evergreen tree mangosteen (Garcinia
similar to grapefruit because of the non-volatile substances
mangostana) bears purple fruit consisting of a pericarp
that cause bitterness; its smell is reminiscent of pineapple.
with multiple functional uses and a fleshy interior that lends
The fruit tastes like a cross between an apple, a litchi, and
itself to beverage applications. The fruit pulp contains
a guava. Many products containing Marula are already on
various minerals, vitamin C, traces of B vitamins, beta-
the market in juices and liquors, and many more are sure
carotene and beta cryptoxanthin, and carbohydrates, fat,
Novel botanical ingredients for beverages
used in jams, jellies, sauces, beverages, and teas. It providesa tart, refreshing flavor to these foods and drinks.
Green foods provide nutrients like vitamins, proteins,
minerals, and antioxidants, which are researched fornumerous health benefits. The challenge is masking the
taste generally associated with green foods. They eithertaste like seaweed, or neither of which is something the
No overview on botanicals used in beverages would be
consumer expects in a beverage. One way to meet this
complete without mentioning the many tea varieties. The
challenge is to extract the nutrients at low temperatures,
recently elucidated benefits of many teas has made tea
which lowers the risk of extracting undesirable taste factors
extract an attractive additive to functional waters and has
increased sales of the beverage itself.
The cereal grasses (young shoots of grain-bearing
Tea contains three types of polyphenol flavonoids:
plants), including alfalfa, barley, wheat, rye, oat, and
catechins, theaflavin, and quercetin. The potency of the
kamut, are also beneficial. In their jointing stage, these
polyphenols is determined by the varying processes used in
plants contain peak concentrations of phytonutrients,
tea manufacturing. For example, white and green teas
vitamins, and amino acids. Juice made of wheat grass has
typically receive the least processing; therefore, their
been effective in reducing disease activity of ulcerative
naturally occurring catechins are preserved with the greatest
colitisand some forms of genetic blood diseases
efficacy. Other varieties of teas (eg, black, oolong) are
involving anemia.Clearly, more research is needed to
oxidized (ie, fermented), resulting in the production of more
uncover additional unknown benefits in other species of
complex theaflavins. Tea extracts formulated for high-
polyphenol content can contain the greatest amounts of
One other main type of green food is microalgae, including
beneficial substances, because they are highly concentrated
spirulina, chlorella, and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Duna-
liella and Haematococcus. These most primitive plants grow
Black tea consists of the withered, fully oxidized (ie,
in aqueous solution and, because if their simple cellular
fermented) leaves of Camellia sinensis. The purpose of
structure and access to water and important aquatic compounds
oxidation is to achieve a richer flavor. Black tea is used
they convert sunlight to sugars more efficiently than do higher
mostly as a beverage. A meta-analysis of demographic
plants. They are easily digestible, because they lack a cell wall.
studies concluded that consumption of black tea beverages
Research has shown these microalgae to possess various
might ensure positive health effects because of high levels of
flavonoids in black tea that can protect cells and tissues from
Aloe vera is another example of a well-known
oxidative damage by scavenging free radicals.
cosmetic ingredient increasingly used in beverage applica-
Green tea (C. sinensis), with its high content of
tions, mostly in dairy products. The plant (the many
xanthines, has anti-inflammatory, anti-irritation and cellu-
benefits of which have been used for at least 4000 years),
lite-reducing properties, while the polyphenols contained
contains more than 200 active substances. Among its many
therein have powerful antioxidant effects that are 20 times
effects, there is a broad range of effects which are
stronger than vitamin E. Its extract has a healthier aura than
exploited in beverage application, among them immuno-
black tea, making it more attractive to some consumers.
stimulation, digestive aid, anti-diabetic activity/blood sugar
Recent studies show that green tea increases the metabolic
balance, kidney stone prevention, oral/gum health, anti-
resting rate, making it a popular ingredient in weight loss
inflammatory for joint comfort, cholesterol/triglyceride
reduction, and antioxidant protection and detoxifica-
White tea, a rare variety of C. sinensis from China, is
tion.It is not surprising, therefore, to find Aloe
the least processed form of tea. It is not oxidized or
incorporated into a multitude of functional beverages
withered, but simply dried by steaming, which leaves it
exploiting the health and beauty connection that is
with greater polyphenol content than other types of tea. It
increasingly moving into the consumers' awareness.
is a little less mature and still has buds on it, whereas
A popular but not new botanical ingredient, lemon
only leaves are used in other types of tea. Research has
verbena, deserves mention. It has certain therapeutic
shown white tea has potent anticancer qualities.With
properties and has been used for a variety of ailments,
the surge in white tea offerings in the ready-to-drink tea
including relief of digestive tract spasms, reduction of fever,
market, it is only a matter of time before this trend will
strengthening of the nervous system, stress relief and as an
catch on in the supplement area. White tea has an exotic
aura about it that appeals to customers looking for a point
can be steeped in hot water to create an aromatic and mildly
sedative herbal tea, and its extracts are used in a variety of
Green coffee bean extract contains chlorogenic acid,
which is twice as effective in neutralizing free radicals as
Hibiscus (also not new to the beverage industry is a red-
green tea extract. It contains the same amount of caffeine as
flowered annual herb and a tropical plant that is commonly
boiled coffee, but unlike boiled coffee, the extract is free of
cafestol, which increases low-density lipoproteins concen-
improving strength, recovery time, endurance, and
trations. Making a coffee-like beverage containing green
coffee extract without the less healthy aspects of conven-
A lesser-known adaptogen is a ashwagandha (Withania
tional coffee is certainly an interesting concept. Caffeine, like
somnifera). It has been shown to boost the body's resistance
green tea extract, raises the resting metabolic rate,a
to anxiety and fatigue without any stimulant effect
mechanism which is quite trendy in the beverage industry.
Ashwagandha is a popular herb in the Indian Ayurvedic
Add the anti-oxidant quality of chlorogenic acid, and you
end up with a very attractive beverage ingredient.
The large range of herbal beers is among the alternative
Yerba maté, with its long traditional use in South
beverages. Recipes are many and varied. One example
America, is valued highly for its nutritional profile. It
currently on the market incorporates kava kava, scullcap (an
contains vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin and B5 and
herb in the mint family), St. John's wort, and passion flower.
calcium, chromium, manganese, iron, selenium, potassium,
The manufacturer claims that the brew has the body, taste,
magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Other bioactives are
and flavor of beer without the dulling effects of alcohol; it
carotene, fatty acids, chlorophyll, flavonols, polyphenols,
also has a relaxing effect on the consumer.
inositol, trace minerals, antioxidants, tannins, pantothenicacid, and even amino acids. The extract has many healthbenefits besides being an interesting alternative to black and
Another tea alternative, rooibos tea, is known as the
The botanical kingdom offers practically unending
long-life teaq in Africa. The so-called red tea is actually a
opportunities to find new functional ingredients for bev-
herb (Aspalathus linearis). African women take rooibos
erages with a variety of techniques.
during pregnancy to relieve heartburn and nausea; they take
As an author for the Physician's Desk Reference for
it for its iron content, and they give it to their babies to relieve
Herbal Medicines and several other textbooks, the author has
colic. Rooibos is gaining acclaim for its vitamin, mineral,
an extremely broad overview of the existing literature,
and antioxidant content and taste. It also is recognized for its
plants, and their activities internationally.
anti-spasmodic properties, which help relieve digestive
The partnership with InterMed Discovery (
Unlike other varieties of tea, rooibos contains
no caffeine. Its characteristic sweet flavor and high
to use a high tech pharmaceutical research platform and
antioxidant content (about 50 times that of green tea) make
database consisting of tens of thousands of plant ingredients
it a very interesting beverage in itself and a valuable
with new and never before published activities, permitting
the find of completely new, patentable functional ingredi-ents out of the realm of botanicals, but more specifically,food plants, worldwide. This technology permits the
separation of every plant into approximately 100-200individual compounds, elucidating their chemical structure,and testing them in bioassays for new functionality. The
The range of non-carbonated herbal beverages, some-
advantage of the database is that thousands of plants have
times called alternative beverages, is increasing. These
been analyzed, and many new activities have been
beverages include energy drinks, exotic teas, and dairy
discovered in bioassays, just waiting for the right partner
drinks. Melissa, siberian ginseng, echinacea, guarana, kava
to develop them into branded proprietary food ingredients.
root, and gingko biloba are some of the popular ingredients.
These beverages are accompanied by claims and focus on“lifestyle" positioning, such as energy, calm, stimulation,relaxation, or health (eg, protection against colds).
Another popular group of ingredients in wellness and
energy beverages are the adaptogens, substances that
Botanicals for beverages, which are divided in fruits and
nonspecifically increase the resistance of an organism and
greens, present different challenges for incorporation in
do not disturb normal biological parameters. Rhodiola rosea
liquids. The beverage market itself is comprised of various
is the best know and increases resistance to a variety of
segments, such as juices, bottled waters, teas, dairy drinks,
chemical, biological, and physical stressors. Its claimed
and alternative beverages. These groups, in turn, present their
benefits include anti-fatigue, anti-stress, antihypoxic (protec-
own challenges for incorporating ingredients. Among the
tion against damaging effects of oxygen deprivation),
many botanical ingredients currently available for beverage
anticancer, antioxidant, cardioprotective, mood-enhancing/
application, some have been around for a long time in other
antidepressant, immune enhancing, and sexual stimulating
applications, while others (such as the various African fruits)
effects.Another beneficial adaptogenic effect of Rho-
are being discovered only now by the industry. The full
diola rosea is its ability to increase physical work capacity,
potential of various ingredients have not been realized yet.
Novel botanical ingredients for beverages
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operamission HANDEL at the Gershwin a joint presentation with Neke Carson and the Gershwin Hotelhosted by John Miller of Pinnacle Arts Management introducing : soprano SHARIN APOSTOLOUcontralto JENNIFER HINEScountertenor GERALD THOMPSONtenor THOMAS WAZELLEbass-baritone TIM HILL the operamission HANDEL BAND: baroque violin JOAN PLANA, BETH WENSTROMbaroque viola EVA GERARDbaroque cello EZR