Usually, for a chef, putting together the flavors in a new dish is very straightforward. What is it going to be served with? What is in season? Are we looking for contrast or harmony? These are all things to be considered and choices to be made. With Reflux Gourmet it was a very different challenge.
After we got the basic formula mastered that would produce a reliable raft and promote acid reflux relief, we had to find a way to mask the flavor. Alginate doesn’t taste good. We had to make it not only palatable, but something people would be happy with every day, perhaps for a long time.
It turns out, the best way to mask the flavor is by sweetening it. We really wanted to keep this as clean and natural as we could. In the end, we turned to regular sugar (dextrose specifically and just 3 grams or less per serving), as it produced the most consistent, shelf-stable formula and clean taste – AND, most importantly, it allowed our formula to stay 100% natural and safe.
Next, we needed a flavor.
Adding The Right Flavors, The Right Way
I went down lots of different flavor rabbit holes trying to find something interesting and delicious. I researched “soothing” teas and tried a couple of different “Chai” inspired blends, but their flavor quality degrades very quickly. Most fruit flavors taste artificial no matter what you do, and for me that’s always a turn off. There’s no pride in coming up with something that tastes like cherry cough syrup. I gave up on fruit flavors after wasting time trying to make a Pina Colada Rescue for Reflux Gourmet.
One of my favorite formulas was an Amaro flavor inspired by Italian after dinner drinks called digestivos. As a concept, it seemed perfect. But bitters are a geeky acquired taste, and my favorite recipe had over 15 different components with roots, bark, and herbs infusing for weeks at a time. Clearly, this was not going to be a crowd pleaser, nor easy to produce with any consistency.
So, I went back to mint. I tried a few different types, but they were all boring until I decided to add some chocolate flavor extract. The first time I tried it, I finally felt we were on the right track. It masked the alginate well, it didn’t taste like toothpaste, and even though it was chocolate flavored, it cannot provoke a reflux reaction like a chocolate candy might.
Dr. Belafsky and Dr. Franco are well-aware of common triggers for reflux and would never create a product that would exacerbate reflux. Instead, together we have created the only mint and chocolate that is actually good for reflux! Although products that have these elements as active ingredients may certainly exacerbate reflux in people with a predisposition (mint chocolate ice cream, for example), the amounts of all-natural mint and chocolate extract in Reflux Gourmet’s Mint Chocolate Rescue are not in sufficient quantities to be considered “mint” and “chocolate” by the FDA and do NOT promote reflux. I was eager to create a mint chocolate sensation that I, as a reflux sufferer, could revel in – mission accomplished!
In a fancy hotel, you might get a chocolate mint on your pillow every night.
I take a spoonful of Reflux Gourmet’s Mint Chocolate Rescue instead.
About Reflux Gourmet
The team at Reflux Gourmet is comprised of Dr. Peter Belafsky, Dr. Ramon Franco, and Chef Ken Frank. Together, they understand how reflux impacts lives and recognized the need for a safe alternative to risky medications. Learn more about the story behind Reflux Gourmet and its products.