The Danish dairy company has had a cooperation with US-based Dairy Chem Laboratories since 2001. Dairy Chem has over 70 years of experience in fermentation technology, and has offered natural butter flavours made this way in the US for some years. In that market they are better known as starter distillates of fermented milks and buttermilk concentrates.
However Maja has observed the growing swell towards natural flavours in Europe and deemed now to be a good time to launch the range in its territory. In addition, the impending new EU regulation of food additives will mean that compounded flavours that mix natural with nature identical may no longer be called ‘natural’, according to Maja sales director Dr Marko Bassan.
He said that butter flavours are often made this way. Maja Foods’ offerings, however, are made from fermented dairy raw material – such as milk or butter milk.
“When they come from a dairy source, you can call them natural dairy flavours,” he told FoodNavigator.com.
There are a number of different flavours in the range, including fermented cream, which is like crème fraiche, and each is adjusted according to the application and uses different bacteria in the process to generate the right effect. But while butter and cream tend to have two notes – a top note and a fatty note – Maja’s flavours are the top note only.
However Bassan said that this does not mean that the end product will have a less buttery taste. This is because they also act as taste enhancers – that is, they can enhance the flavour of what butter fat is there, but without having the note themselves.
It can also enhance other tastes, like caramel (“giving the impression of having more calories than it really has”), and salt, and meaty and savoury flavours.
Maja Foods says that the main applications for the flavour range are in yellow fats, fermented cream, processed cheese and confectionery.
They can also be used be as enhancers in energy bars, snacks, poultry, savoury products, low fat dairy, and baked goods.