DSM launches Sensarite taste potentiators for bakery, dairy

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Salt reduction Nutrition Food

DSM Food Specialities is launching a range of yeast-derived taste
potentiators called Sensarite, aimed at maintaining an authentic
taste profile in bakery and dairy products reformulated to be
better for health and nutrition.

Food manufacturers are under increasing pressure to provide foods that cater to consumers and regulator demands for reduced salt, fat and sugar as part of efforts to combat obesity and heart disease prevalence. But the paradox is that reducing these ingredients often leads to a finished product that does not taste as good, and is therefore rejected by consumers. This paradox represented a gauntlet thrown down to ingredients companies, to find effective but cost-effective ways to reduce unhealthy ingredients but without compromising the sensory properties. DSM's answer is derived from yeast and, rather unusually, is almost tasteless. Although she was not able to go into details about Sensarite's make-up and action, business manager Henneke Veldhuis told Food Navigator.com that it is a combination of proteins, amino-acids and peptides. It works by enhancing taste reception on the tongue. "We see it as an ingredient that boosts the taste profile and enhances specific taste components,"​ she said. Initially Sensarite consists of a salt reduction line and a general line with masking capabilities to improve the flavour profile, for example in the low fat area. However development of the range is on-going and other variants are in the pipeline that are customised based on application needs. The initial offering is aimed at bakery and dairy since, Veldhuis said, people tend to consume these products more often so the potential intake of negative nutrients is "huge".​ The Sensarite technology was developed by DSM entirely in-house. It took four or five years to reach the launch pad, so the project was conceived when the healthier formulation drive was in its early stages. Around the same time, DSM had initiated its Vision 2005 programme, which focus on innovation, especially in the functional foods area. In fact, it is not the first time the company has targeted the reformulation area, particularly with salt reduction. Last year it introduced its Maxarome Select product, also a neutral-tasting yeast extract said to replace up to 40 per cent of the salt content of some products. Although Sensarite is not specifically aimed at functional foods, Veldhuis said that by enabling better for you products, it can support healthier lifestyles. "If we are looking at the benefits, it is a combination of good, great, greater taste,"​ she said. "The cost of the ingredients has only a minimal impact on cost of the total formulation, since usually very small amounts are used for general taste enhancement."​ This does vary per application and product, however, in the case of salt it is almost a one-to-one exchange. The product range is being launched on a global basis. However market trends and market pressure mean that healthier formulations are mainly a current issue in Europe and the US at the moment, so these are being given more priority than other areas. Sensarite will be making its debut before the food industry at large at IFT in Chicago next month, after which it will put in an appearance at other global trade shows. The first products using the range are already in development, since it is part of DSM's philosophy to involve key customers as much as possible as early as possible. They are expected to start appearing on shelves in Q3 or Q4 2007. Veldhuis said that the drive to reduce salt, in which a UK campaign has played a leading role, is now spreading throughout Europe. Last year the UK's Food Standards Agency has set a series of targets for salt reduction in the 85 food categories that the government agency says contribute most to the amount of salt in our diet. These include everyday foods such as bread, bacon, ham, breakfast cereals and cheese, and convenience foods such as pizza, ready meals, savoury snacks, cakes and pastries. The aim is to reduce salt consumption to 6g per day, which experts say would have a major impact on public health by reducing hypertension and risk of cardiovascular events. As for future trends in reformulation, Veldhuis expects there will be similar regulatory pressure on sugar reduction.

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