Process flavours are the ingredients used to create a flavour compound, which is then incorporated into food or beverage products.
DSM Food Specialties said its new ‘local finishing’ approach means that the individual components that make up process flavours will now be put together in one of three regional centres, thereby increasing response time to customers by up to two months. However, these components will still be supplied from the same facilities, which will ensure exact flavour profile matching and no batch-to-batch variations.
Changing market demands
According to DSM, this approach was set up partly as a response to changing market conditions.
“A lot of end-marketing companies are innovating and renovating their portfolios, and this brings a big demand to change their favour compositions. In order to react to that we need to be close to our customer,” said Coen van Oorschot, Process Flavours business industry manager at DSM Food Specialties.
This mass reformulation has a number of key drivers, said the firm. These include: the salt reduction trend that has picked up in the last couple of years; a greater demand for more ‘authentic flavours; and changing EU regulations prompting manufacturers to switch to natural formulations.
“We need to respond fast to this increased demand, which is partly a result of more innovation and partly pipeline filling, as companies build up their stocks prior to the introduction of new products onto the market,” said Peter Kempe, DSM global key account director.
“Our local finishing approach lets us shorten lead times and be more flexible,” he said, adding that proximity to customers also allows for a better understanding of changing regional demands.
Three regional centres
The company has set up three process flavour centres in Holland, the United States and China. These will supply customers in the EMEA region, the Americas and Asia Pacific respectively.
All starter ingredients will continue to be supplied from the same factories as they currently are: yeast extracts will be supplied from DSM’s facility in Holland, while process flavour keys will come from the firm’s production plant in Shanghai, where they are produced using a patented DYSC (dynamic semi-continuous) technology.
According to van Oorschot, this is DSM’s point of differentiation as compared to competitors who also have local finishing capabilities.
“A total process flavour composition involves several ingredients, and those always remain exactly the same, manufactured in the same plants – this prevents inconsistencies between batches,” he explained.
The logistics of the process are fairly simple: the firm makes sure all ingredients are available in its local centres in “ample quantities”, so it is always in a position to deal with an upsurge in the market, said van Oorschot.
The local finishing centres are already up and running in Holland and China, while the US centre is in the process of being set up and will be finalized by the last quarter of this year.
According to DSM, this approach can shave off around six to eight weeks of lead time. “Time is the crucial element nowadays. We see that customers want to tap into new trends straight away, and now we can react faster to these changing demands,” said Kempe.