It is a scientific and culinary task through the program TasteSolutions.
Combining knowledge of umami, together with scientific expertise in flavor research and analysis, Givaudan has developed a wide range of natural flavor ingredients with a focus on umami. This allows its experts to create flavors that provide a new level of authenticity and taste in food, without having to rely on the addition of flavor enhancers.
The movement toward labeling claims that consumers can understand and recognize is a trend that continues to grow in importance when it comes to health and wellness. This translates into demands from food manufacturers, who want to reduce the number of ingredients on labels to a minimum and find natural alternatives for ingredients whose names sound artificial or chemical.
At the heart of this “clean label” movement is the desire to remove flavor enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG is widely used in savory foods and snacks to provide an umami sensation, which enhances the full intensity of flavor. Umami is a Japanese term that translates directly to “delicious flavor” and gives foods body, mouthfeel, and juiciness, which consumers will find highly desirable. Developing successful products that do not rely on the addition of MSG is a significant technical challenge for food manufacturers.
Through its expertise in the creation and application of umami and the wide range of available ingredients, Givaudan provides its customers with flavors tailored to create the perfect umami profile in products.
“It is important to understand how the balance and harmony of flavors affect the experience of eating,” explained Matthew Walter, Group Leader at Givaudan’s EAME Culinary Expertise Center. “Taste is not just about commonly used enhancers, such as MSG or IMP/GMP. It is a much more complex phenomenon. Understanding the contribution of other flavor ingredients and using them properly in balance is ideal for creating a delicious product. The Japanese call this complexity of flavor and balance ‘kokumi’, a term still not well understood outside of Japan.”
Givaudan also focuses its expertise on understanding how to achieve great taste in food. The company discovered a wealth of new molecules by analyzing traditional fermentation processes, technical and artistic cooking ingredients used in kitchens around the world to impart flavor.