No meat and less salt: Salt of the Earth’s Mediterranean Umami is changing the meat alternative space

By Emma Jane Cash

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock
A sodium-reduction solution that mimics the taste of meat has been created by Israeli supplier, Salt of the Earth Ltd.

The ingredient boasts a clean label, as well as being non-GMO, artificial free and vegan friendly.

Vegetarianism and veganism has been growing at a rapid pace in Europe, according to Mintel​,​ with even non-vegetarian consumers decreasing the amount of meat they eat.

“Consumers are adopting a vegan diet some of the time, they have tried a vegan diet and go back to it, or they sometimes buy vegan products. It is a declaration of intent,” ​said David Jago, director of Innovation and Insight at Mintel, at this year’s Free Froom Foods Expo.

With the trend increasing across Europe, manufacturers have been searching for a way to make plant-protein taste as good as meat products, without having to add great amounts of salt or sugar.

With this in mind, Salt of the Earth Ltd has created an easy-to-use solution for manufacturers of plant-based meat alternative products.

Mediterranean Umami is an instantly soluble, liquid mixture of vegetable and plant extracts and sea salt, which is available in pouring containers.

“The secret of our success is not just the novelty and functionality of Mediterranean Umami, but also its unique ability to enhance flavour and salty taste, allowing replacement of common flavour enhancers and reduction of sodium without affecting the finished product texture,”​ said Ehud Zach, Food Technologies and Application Manager at Salt of the Earth Ltd.

The product is also gluten free and holds a kosher certificate, and gives a salty, savoury flavour to the finished product.

Currently, according to the brand, meat alternative products contain 1.2-2.5% salt.

In a series of lab tests, the Israeli supplier has demonstrated that the use of Mediterranean Umami can reduce overall salt content by up to 27% in vegetarian “chicken” nuggets and up to 45% in meat hamburgers, whilst still achieving taste satisfaction in trials.

The product has also been tested in dips and sauces, including mayonnaise and A Thousand Island dressing, in soups and in both vegan and meat products.

Mediterranean Umami won an IFT17 Food Expo Innovation Award this week, in Las Vegas.

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