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It’s Botanical Time

What is a botanical extract?

Botanical can be defined as a substance that has derived from a plant. Often these are herbs, spices and floral flavours. Consequently, botanical flavours often give an authentic and concentrated taste due to their natural origins, causing consumers to gravitate towards them, especially with the rising trend of sustainability.

Botanicals are associated with being sustainable, and natural and having perceived health benefits, which gives reason behind their growing popularity in the food and beverage industry.

With botanical flavours growing in consumer preference, there is scope for lesser-known botanical products to enter the industry. Consumers are often looking for diverse and innovative flavours and botanicals offer a vast portfolio to explore and experiment with unique flavours. In addition to this, we are seeing many botanical flavours being used in unusual applications such as basil ice cream or black pepper in beverages. When paired with sweet or fruity flavours, botanical combinations can be delicious and appear luxurious.

The advantages of using botanical extracts are…

  • High impact at low dosage
  • Longer-shelf life than fresh ingredients
  • Clean-label declaration
  • Provence of some ingredients


  • Bakery

We have seen botanical extracts grow in popularity across the bakery industry. From floral cakes to citrusy biscuits, botanical flavours are being used in combination with traditional sweet flavours to create unique flavour profiles. Popular botanical extracts for bakery include elderflower, rose and vanilla.

  • Beverages

This is a staple industry for the use of botanical flavours, with Tea being a common application. Chamomile, mint, ginger and lemon are essential tea flavours however the growth of botanicals in other beverages has been immense. Soft drinks are being combined with unique botanical flavours to stand out in the market, such as basil and black pepper. Let’s not overlook the demand for botanical flavours in alcoholic beverages, which is taking the market by storm.

  • Dairy foods

Dairy foods such as yoghurt, ice cream and even cheeses are seeing the addition of botanical flavours in their portfolio. Citrus fruits are perfect in conjunction with other botanical elements, such as basil & lime, raspberry & black pepper, and even yuzu and elderflower. Botanicals can be a perfect way to cut through the fatty, dairy notes and create a delicious flavour fusion.

  • Snacks

The snack industry is also experiencing a rise in botanical flavours. Whether that be in a savoury application or sweet application, there is so much opportunity to add botanical flavours within the snack industry. Vanilla is popular in use with cereals, and snack bars whilst botanicals such as coriander and black pepper can be great in a crisp application.

Top botanical flavours:

We have noted below some of the botanical flavours which are constantly appearing in all kinds of applications. If you aren’t already incorporating these extracts in your products, now is your time to start!





Innovative and emerging flavours:

As botanicals grow in popularity, there is room for the less commonly known members of the family to emerge. Plant-Ex have a range of unique botanical extracts which can help make your products stand out from the crowd!


Kaffir Lime

Basil – In unusual applications e.g. ice cream, beverages

Black Pepper

Botanical extracts are thriving in today’s food and beverage market due to their authenticity, perceived health benefits and powerful flavours which can elevate any application. Specific botanical extracts are suited to the different seasons, we can help you find the perfect summer botanical or a warming winter extract. To gather more information on botanical extracts or to request a sample, please email

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