In 2023, expect to hear the term “terpene profile” a LOT when it comes to adding flavor, aroma, and effects to products. But what does terpene profile mean, and why should CPG companies care?
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are, essentially, the building blocks of scent and flavor. So, a “terpene profile” refers to the unique ratio of terpene isolates that a plant naturally produces. Consequently, an understanding of this knowledge and its applications is pivotal when it comes to recreating natural aromas and flavors in various CPG products.
There’s a bit more to it than that though. Terpenes can interact with our bodies and promote a wide variety of effects. For products designed to promote specific experiences, this knowledge can be the difference between products that “work” and ones that consumers never end up repurchasing.
Plus, with our advanced technology, we’re able to manipulate these profiles to create entirely new aromas, flavors, and effects. And that’s just the beginning…
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Why CPG Brands Should Care About Terpene Profiles
Terpene Profiles in Nature
Before terpenes were ever manipulated in a laboratory setting, scientists studied them in nature. That means analyzing lots and lots of plant samples to see just what made them tick and how they interacted with their environment. While this may not sound important, this research is what opened up the world of terpene science and made it applicable to so many different products.
Terpenes, the natural hydrocarbons produced by most plants, serve several important evolutionary functions. Yes, they often smell good to us, but plants can produce terpenes to attract pollinators, repel predators, protect against UV rays, destroy pathogens, and more. Basically, plants use terpenes as tools and the unique terpene profile of a plant usually serves several functions.
It’s also important to remember that just because several plants have the same dominant isolates in their terpene profiles, that doesn’t mean they’ll smell the same. The ratio of these terpene isolates is what ends up creating the overall aroma, flavor, and effects.
Small differences in these ratios, even between identical seeds, often happen because terpenes are incredibly volatile. That means that things like soil quality, weather, and farming techniques can damage, alter, or destroy the terpenes present in a plant. That’s why two identical seeds grown in different conditions may end up with slightly different terpene profiles.
Terpene Profiles and CPG Flavoring
Whether you have a food and beverage, personal care, or even a cannabis product, infusing it with flavor and/or aroma is an essential aspect of product formulation. Even if a product provides the desired effects, consumers aren’t likely to repurchase a product that doesn’t smell or taste good.
But it’s more than that. If a product advertises that it smells or tastes a certain way, consumers expect the product to deliver on that claim. While it may seem like a good idea to rely on plant matter to provide the most authentic version of that scent or flavor, that’s not always the case. Mainly because the volatility of terpenes creates consistency issues for ingredient sourcing.
Basically, once you find plant matter with the exact aroma or flavor you’re looking for, it must be grown in a controlled environment to avoid changes in terpene expression. Then it must be carefully harvested and transported to avoid damaging the terpenes, and then sometimes massive amounts of plant matter are required to make up for the natural terpene loss that occurs during most manufacturing processes.
Basically, relying on the natural terpene profiles of plant matter alone to flavor your products can be expensive, time-consuming, and it’s not always consistent. Conversely, infusing products with the terpene profiles of expertly extracted botanical terpenes is faster, always consistent, and you can control the potency.
Terpene Profiles and CPG Effects
On top of ensuring that a product delivers its promised aromas and flavors, knowledge of terpene profiles can help manufacturers ensure that their products deliver the right effects.
Lavender, for example, is relaxing because of its dominant terpene isolate, Linalool, along with the unique combination of other terpene isolates. But all the same issues that can damage the flavor and aroma of plant matter can also impact any effects that a plant might promote. If the ratio of isolates is altered too much, the effects can be minimized, strengthened, or completely eliminated.
This is particularly noticeable in cannabis products. Certain chemovars promise very particular effects. GG4, for example, is known for being incredibly euphoric and relaxing. Those effects only happen, however, when all of the isolates in the terpene profile make it through to the finished product.
Custom Terpene Profiles for CPG Brands
Obviously, supplying your customers with authentic flavors, aromas, and effects is non-negotiable if that’s what a product has promised. However, our advanced technology also allows us to manipulate these profiles to create entirely new experiences.
On top of our AI Terp Effects, which are specially formulated and optimized to deliver specific effects, we can also craft custom terpene formulations for your products. While the former ensures your products deliver specific effects, custom terpene formulations allow you to create aromas, flavors, and effects that can’t be found in any other products on the market.
We’ve even created water-soluble terpenes that make it even easier to infuse beverage products with the flavors, aromas, and effects that consumers want.
Abstrax Tech Expertly Extracted Terpenes
Relying on plant matter alone can be costly and inconsistent. Fortunately, infusing products with expertly extracted botanical terpenes can provide the savings that CPG brands desperately need in 2023.
Bottom line? It’s not just about understanding the intricacies of terpene profiles. It’s about leveraging that knowledge to streamline manufacturing processes and create products with consistent experiences. Contact us today and let’s talk about infusing your products with botanical terpenes.