Umami, billed as the ‘fifth taste’, was discovered by the Japanese in the early 1900s and is now recognised as a desirable savoury note in a whole raft of food products. Food manufacturers often achieve the umami effect by using monosodium glutamate (MSG), which has received bad press in recent times because some people believe it may be linked to health problems such as obesity and headaches.
Eric Davedeau, R&D director at Mane, says the company came up with new Sense Capture Umami and Sense Capture Umami+ flavours to specifically to allow food manufacturers to avoid using MSG in their products.
“We have never seen any proven links between MSG and health problems but it is true that the food industry gives more exposure to glutamate than a long time ago, meaning intake is high,” he told FoodNavigator.com. “We are aiming at safe consumption rather than complete replacement.”
To formulate the Sense Capture umami products Mane used gold root extract from Mexico to achieve mouth watering and tingling, and physcool, which has a cooling effect, he said.
Mane is targeting the flavours at two main applications; snacks and stocks.
The first umami replacement, Sense Capture Umami, is a 1:1 MSG alternative, meaning manufacturers do not need to change the recipe or manufacturing process. The second, Sense Capture Umami + with Umami Booster, significantly increases the umami impact compared to MSG at the same dosage and has a stronger, longer lasting flavour.
“The Umami+ product is more economical as it has a more intense effect in the mouth,” said Davedeau. “It is 3.25 times more concentrated than MSG therefore cheaper to use.”
The umami products are part of the Sense Capture Boost platform which provides solutions for salt, fat and sugar reduction. The company has two other Sense Capture platforms; Mask, for counteracting bitterness, acidity and off-notes, and Feel, which provides cold, warn and tingling mouth sensations.
The Sense Capture products, officially launched this week, are available in industrial quantities worldwide, says Davedeau.
Mane goes native
Last year Mane launched a new range of vegetable flavours for culinary applications to cater to the growing trend for natural foods and the new legislation on the composition of flavours that can be called natural. Called Mane Native, has been developed with the new definitions of natural flavourings laid out in the new flavour regulation, as well of principles of sustainability, in mind. In order to be called 'natural [vegetable x] flavour', 95 per cent of the flavour needs to come from that vegetable.
The mane Native range was expanded in March this year with a new line of natural seafood flavours, derived largely from-the-named-food.
Clarification: This article has been updated from the original which stated that the new Mane flavours are glutamate-free. This is not the case as some raw materials naturally contain glutamate. They are made with no added MSG, however, and no added ribonucletotides such as IMP and GMP.