Developing flavors for reduced fat or sodium snacks needs ingredients that work on the tongue and not in the nose, Givaudan says.
Flavors and fragrance specialist Givaudan has developed a host of new snacks seasonings that stimulate the tongue to compromise loss of mouth feel and taste when reducing salt and fat.
The snacks market continues to grow, but there is a clear shift to healthier products with reduced fat and sodium content, as well as removal of MSG (monosodium glutamate), said Martin Mei, marketing director for snacks EAME at Givaudan.
“But if manufacturers cut down on fat content, the fattiness mouth feel and succulence is lost,” Mei told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“The flavor industry has historically worked with flavors that have molecules that work in your nose. But when working on salt reduction or fat reduction you need to work on the tongue,” he said.
The removal of artificial taste enhancer MSG also has tongue impact he said.
Japan and cheese inspiration…
Mei said the flavor development teams at Givaudan have taken a lot of inspiration from Japanese foods because sodium content across the board is very low.
Givaudan has reduced the salt content in all of its seasoning products by 25-40%, he said.
The teams have also been working with rich tasting food stuffs like mature cheeses, taking the molecules from these foods that stimulate the tongue, he added.
“We re-create the molecule in a natural way using normal cooking techniques,” he said.
Givaudan has launched three new cheese flavored seasonings – parmesan, blue and goats cheese.
“The base is the same from a taste perspective, but we have changed the top note – the aroma part of the product,” Mei said.
To create the cheese flavors, Givaudan can either use molecules from the cheese itself for labeling purposes, or it can do it cost effectively and more efficiently by using other readily available food stuffs, he said.
The chili and beyond…
Alongside the trend towards health and wellness in snacks, Mei said that is a clear demand for flavors that excite the taste buds.
“The key is that they [flavors] are novel, yet familiar,” he said.
“Consumers need to be able to recognize part of what is happening in terms of mouth feel, smell and experience.”
Hot and spicy is a huge trend in snacks, he said, but there is scope to develop new flavors.
“Most are based on chili peppers but we see room for hot and spicy effects not from chilies but from other heat-giving ingredients like ginger, pepper, Szechuan pepper and mustard seeds,” he said.
“Consumers want to be excited beyond chilies now… They are looking for a challenge,” he added.