Frutarom fishing around for flavours with UK academics

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food

Academics from the UK are teaming up with Frutarom to produce new ingredients and flavour extracts that may help to reduce levels of salt in foods, without impacting taste.

The researchers, from the University of Northumbria will colloborate with the UK arm of Israel-based flavours, botanicals and speciality ingredients supplier Frutafom, in a new £210,000 project which aims to use waste tissue from the fish processing industry – such as seaweed – as a source of new extracts and ingredients for the food industry.

The project titled ‘Enhancing nutritional benefits of flavour materials with natural functional ingredients from control of production processes’, aims to isolate new molecules that could be used as building blocks to create new flavours.

The new flavours, it is hoped, will serve to reduce salt in food products without compromising taste, and could help to cut back on food industry waste by utilising food materials that are usually discarded.

Steven Jackson, R&D manager for Frutarom UK, confirmed to FoodNavigator that funding for the initiative would cover an initial one year exploratory project, and should begin in spring next year.

He said that the project would explore the potential ingredients from extracts of marine sources – an area which he said has “never really been focused on before.”

“The idea is to have a look what there is, benchmark them, and assess what can be done with them,” ​he said.

He said the project hopes to look as wider range of food-grade sources as possible - from seaweeds, to marine processing wastes.

Marine sources

Professor Jenny Ames, associate dean for innovation in the school of life sciences at Northumbria told this publication that a large amount of the work will be focused towards extracting building blocks for flavours “from materials that we would usually just discard.”

Dr Georgios Koutsidis, of Northumbria University, UK, added that fish wastes that we consider as inedible could be “a good source of important nutrients which have been shown to have a beneficial effect on human health.”

“It’s that kind of material that we want to look at as a source of these flavour building blocks,”​ said Ames.

On top of investigating the potential of processing wastes, Ames said the research team would be working with Frutarom and marine ingredients specialists Aquapharm to investigate the potential of algae sources for isolating flavour molecules.

“In addition to being able to use these building blocks to construct the flavours, we need to make sure they are stable. There are certain compounds in algae that as well as helping to build the flavour, could help to stabilise it for use,”​ she explained.

Seafood flavours

Jackson said that the project aims to explore the uses of these novel ‘building blocks’ as a source of active ingredients or flavour components, “to use them to blend or process flavours to generate seafood flavours”

Ames added that by combining the components, the team will create new flavours that they hope will be “fish like in nature.”

“We may actually be able to create something that tastes more seafood-like initially, that provides flavours that might otherwise be provided by salt,”​ she explained.

However, Jackson added that whilst the initial project is designed to explore the potential to create seafood flavours from marine by-products, the scope of research may be widened to include other flavours or ingredients as the projects continues.

Related topics Science

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more