Skyrocketing lemon costs lead to creation of new oils

Posted by Isobel Drake on 18th July 2008

A variety of weather-related problems has severely impacted the world’s supply of lemons, with shortages of around 30% expected this year, according to Givaudan, the world’s largest flavours company. This, in turn, is driving up lemon oil prices significantly. Compared with 2004, these have increased more than fivefold, putting a particular strain on the beverage industry, one of the largest consumers of lemon oil globally.

Givaudan Flavours is launching its solution to help its customers combat rising lemon prices in the form of a new range of lemon oil replacement ingredients. Part of the company’s SUNthesis engineered citrus ingredients collection, the range has been designed to match precisely the flavour profiles of lemon oils. Other citrus flavour replacers in the collection include orange, lime and grapefruit ingredients.

“The SUNthesis collection has been designed to alleviate the effects of the economic swings in the citrus markets and provide the price stability our customers need,” explains Dawn Streich, Givaudan’s Citrus Product Manager. “The combination of our secure access to raw materials and proprietary flavour creation technologies allows us to optimize the price-quality equation and at the same time achieve great tasting lemon flavours.”

Givaudan’s lemon oil replacers are designed to provide a natural ‘clean’ lemon flavour and to align with the labelling needs of food and beverage manufacturers. “With the majority of lemons currently going to fresh fruit consumption, this creates even more price pressure on lemon oil, a by-product of lemon processing,” advised Jerry Sachs, Givaudan’s Procurement Director for Citrus. “Our new lemon oil replacement ingredients will enable beverage and food manufacturers to avoid exposure to these price pressures while maintaining a consistently high quality flavour profile.”

A.M. Todd, another flavour producer has similarly announced a line of lemon oil extenders to answer industry woes. “Prices have been escalating steadily since 2005, however, this year’s major jump in lemon oil prices is in large part due to poor weather conditions in some major growing regions including California, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Argentina. In many cases yields were significantly reduced,” Raymond Hughes, President of A.M. Todd Ingredients & Flavors, said.

A.M. Todd believe their lemon oil extenders will allow users to reduce lemon oil in products while maintaining a typical lemon oil flavor profile. These extenders will help address shortage experienced by both consumer packaged goods manufacturers and flavour/ fragrance companies. The extenders are all natural, citrus based systems that have demonstrated the ability to extend the flavor character of lemon oil up to 50% and could present savings of 20-40%, according to A.M. Todd.