- Sound Nutrition has created a clean-label sweet snack using a patented ultrasonic process that preserves nutrients and develops flavor while creating a rich, buttery mouthfeel, according to the company. Flavors of its new Sound Bites line include vanilla lime, mocha, chocolate raspberry and coconut surprise.
- The company claims its snacks promote mental clarity, provide sustained physical energy and contain a balanced ratio of nutritional ingredients to tide consumers over between meals. Ingredients include real cacao and whole egg crystals. Sound Bites are being sold in cases of 12 packages of two 30-gram bites at Sound Nutrition's web site for $72, or in a sampler of four packs for $24.
- The ultrasonic process uses high-frequency, low-amplitude sound waves to vibrate the ingredients into the snacks' shape and form. It does not require the use of high heat, preserving the nutritional content of the snack, according to Sound Nutrition.
Sound Nutrition designed its flagship snack product around its ultrasonic technology with the hopes of creating a new segment in the snack category. But the use of ultrasonic technology is not entirely novel in food production.
Ultrasound can be used for a variety of steps in the food manufacturing process including cutting, preservation, filtration, dehydration, freezing and thawing, meat tenderizing, extraction, homogenizing and emulsifying, defoaming or degassing, and sealing packages, according to Food Technology Magazine. Food processors typically use ultrasound frequencies ranging from 20 kHz to 10 MHz.
In 2012, a team of engineers at the University of Nottingham developed a stove that cooks food and generates electricity using thermo-acoustic technology, according to CNN Business. Researchers at Fort Wayne University have also explored using sound to sanitize food using a process called sonication.
Next to its ultrasonic manufacturing technology, Sound Nutrition positions Sound Bites as a clean-label product with better-for-you ingredients. For example, instead of egg whites and whey protein, which the company refers to as fillers, Sound Bites contain whole eggs to provide more complete nutrition, according to Sound Nutrition. Through the use of ingredients like cocoa butter and MCT oil, Sound Nutrition claims to provide a better texture and mouthfeel. It opted for allulose as a sweetener, noting that the all-natural ingredient does not lead to energy spikes and dips like regular sugar.
Clean-label products are top of consumers' shopping lists these days, with 91% believing that food and beverages with recognizable ingredients are healthier, according to 2018 research from Innova. Ingredients like additives, synthetics or highly-processed substances like high fructose corn syrup are falling out of favor, challenging food manufacturers to reformulate products to meet clean-label standards while still providing the same taste, texture and appearance.
Sound Nutrition claims to be the first company to apply sound waves in food production — but others have played with the concept. In 2019, AB InBev's Bud Light brand brewed a special batch of sound-enhanced beer to celebrate the St. Louis Blues' first-ever championship win. The company played "Gloria" by Laura Branigan for the entirety of the brewing process in an attempt to infuse the brew with the tune.