Sensient targets salt reduction with taste-enhancing solution for savory and sweet applications
28 Mar 2023 --- Sensient Flavors & Extracts Europe has launched its Nacre umami booster extract portfolio. Extracted from a plant protein, Nacre qualifies for clean, vegan labeling as a more transparently sourced vegetable protein-derived umami flavor solution.
The solution can reduce salt usage in meats, snacks and bread products; cover undesired tastes in meat-alternative offerings and enhance base taste stability and notes in sauces, stocks and bouillons.
Moreover, Nacre is a sustainable extract naturally produced with minimal processing and a low carbon impact, the company details.
“The Nacre portfolio has been in development for three years and this remains a work in progress as Sensient continues to focus on developing new formats, new taste profiles with different raw materials and additional equipment,” Jeremy Marichez, innovation manager at Sensient Flavors & Extracts Europe, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
Application usage “not limited”
This solution can be used in any savory application. Still, it is not limited to those as it appears relevant in some sweet applications. For example, adding a hint of salt can transform the taste profile into something even more tasteful and salivating, Marichez underscores.
“The standard dosage of Nacre is rather low (less than 1%). This product is soluble in water but can also be dispersed in an oil/fat-based matrix or used as such in a powder format within a snack seasoning formulation.”
Nacre brings an umami boost, taste enhancement and saltiness modulation to a formulation, as well as covering off-notes. “Through the umami boosting property, it enhances the overall taste baseline of a product and makes it last longer. Nacre works in synergy with the product’s existing flavor profile,” explains Marichez.
“Nacre is also neutral in taste compared to other ingredients typically used for umami and savory flavoring, which is a major benefit for multiple reasons,” adds Michel Salles, general manager of Sensient Flavors & Extracts Europe.
“At Sensient, we deliver natural ingredients to provide deliciousness in any food application,” Salles outlines. “Nacre’s neutrality means that it enhances product taste rather than altering it, keeping product flavors clean and simple, with a pleasant, juicy mouthfeel.”
New formats in the pipeline
Sensient Flavors & Extracts Europe is developing new formats from other raw materials with different flavor profiles.
The first item was launched last year based on a wheat protein by-product, Marichez tells us.
“Last month, we launched three products: a liquid version, a version with a roasted/meaty flavor profile and a soy-based version. This Nacre product range is also an internal umami toolbox with which we create a lot of more complex flavoring blends.”
This product was designed originally for the EU market thanks to its beneficial regulatory positioning in comparison to other umami solutions, which are often considered non-natural. It is approved and can be used in other countries by adapting labeling to local regulatory requirements.
Salt reduction themes in the spotlight
In parallel with continuously rising consumer demand for more naturality and clean labeling, governments are maintaining pressure on manufacturers for salt reduction.
Marichez says that “obvious solutions to compensate for lack of taste when reducing salt are umami-based flavorings, such as soy sauce, yeast extracts, MSG and nucleotides.
“Nacre is a sustainable alternative, extracted from vegetable protein by-products and manufactured through a low energy-consuming process. It contains no additives and no carrier,” he explains.
Edited by Elizabeth Green
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