Israeli company LycoRed said it has carried out focused research in the past six months to optimise a clean label and tomato-derived salt and MSG replacer, with industrial scale trials showing its effectiveness in a range of soup applications.
Roee Nir, colour and flavour global commercial manager at LycoRed, told FoodNavigator that when it launched SANTE in July last year, it had a wide portfolio of applications in mind but, after intensive testing and performance outcomes, the company has found the concentrate works best in four main food categories - soups, meat and meat analogues, snacks and seasonings and sauces.
Sensory panel testing and trials with a US soup manufacturer indicated that the use of less than 0.5% of SANTE can cut salt content by 30% in canned and powder soups, said Nir.
LycoRed said that using an equivalent quantity of SANTE liquid in standard chicken soup mix can allow a reduction of 0.2% MSG.
“We even had excellent results using the tomato concentrate in French onion soup, with no hint of tomato flavour notes,” said Nir, adding that the ingredient with its umami and kokumi characteristics also rounds off the flavour profile of the foods.
Salt reduction strategies
Excessive intake of dietary sodium is strongly linked to hypertension - a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Evidence also suggests links to gastric cancer, decreased bone density, and higher rates of obesity.
This has led to industry investing heavily in salt reduction strategies but it is a difficult balancing act with maintaining taste and flavour.
The quest for clean label, sodium-reducing flavour enhancers is on-going and there are many products aiming to address these issues on the market.
Results in other categories were equally as positive, with Nir noting that using 0.35% of the concentrate in an application such as potato chips or crisps allowed for a salt reduction of 28%.
LycoRed, which explained that it separated out and concentrated all the taste enhancing components that occur naturally in tomatoes to produce the concentrate, said is available in liquid form or as a free-flowing powder. It is described as heat resistant and stable at almost all pH levels.
In terms of labelling, it can be declared as ‘tomato extract’ or ‘natural flavour’ or ‘vegetable extract’.
The patented ingredient took five years of R&D, with the company claiming that it can create cost-saving opportunities due to the reduction in traditional formulation ingredients, spices, artificial flavours or tomato paste.