Chicken flavours have been a hot area of innovation this year, with two of the major flavour houses, IFF and Givaudan, both communicating new chicken ranges.
Coen van Oorschot, product manager at DSM Food Specialities, explained to that the new Maxavor Chicken YE is a ‘step two’ flavour building block that imparts a specific culinary taste direction – either roast or boiled chicken – to an overall balanced profile.
It builds on the basic ‘step one’ savoury bouillon, and could be further enhanced by ‘step three’ building blocks, which would give top notes such as spices.
The customer base for Maxavor Chicken YE is made up of flavour houses and food manufacturers who have the in-house knowledge to work with flavour blocks themselves.
Van Oorschot said that the ingredient taps into natural labelling trends since it is simply a yeast extract. Consumer research commissioned by DSM in 2007 investigated consumer perception of yeast extracts, and concluded that most consumers are aware of yeast extract and recognize them as natural.
While there is some debate as to what exactly constitutes ‘natural’, van Oorschot told FoodNavigator.com: “We step out by providing industry with just yeast extract. There is no doubt anymore.”
The chicken taste trend
Authentic chicken flavours have made headlines in 2008 – and van Oorschot does not expect the innovation focus to shift from this area any time soon.
“Chicken and beef are the biggest taste directions in the world, for savoury at least,” he said, adding that they will “definitely continue to be primary topics of innovation.”
In addition to the natural and clean label need – that is, products that contain less salt and other negative nutrients – consumers are increasingly expecting good, authentic taste.
“Everyone wants food as good as Grandma made, but in five minutes and for cheap.”
Maxavor Chicken YE is made with just the yeast extract and the Maillard reaction. “If it is processed correctly there is no need to add anything.”
The yeast strain used by DSM could not be revealed for confidentiality reasons. While the yeast extract is produced at the company’s facility in The Netherlands, the building block is then made at DSM’s new factory in Shanghai.
Last month DSM announced a 35 per cent increase in its yeast production capacity in The Netherlands, citing demand from processed foods, salt reduction technologies, and the natural trend.