For centuries people were aware of only four tastes, sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. It wasn't until the early twentieth century that Japanese Professor Kikunae Ikeda discovered a fifth taste. This taste did not fit the category of the four well-known profiles. He called this new taste umami – a combination of Japanese words "umai" and "mi" which literally translates to 'delicious taste'.
Interestingly, umami is a naturally occurring profile in many every day produces such as ripe tomatoes, corn, parmesan cheese, and others. It is the free glutamate compound in these foods that give it a unique savory flavor. The science behind savory enhancers follows the same route. These ingredients have no taste or texture but act as catalysts to make the food more flavorful. They bring in the umami taste and enhance the savory profile of the product. In today's food market, savory enhancers are the key ingredients for consumers' food to be appreciated. They are used widely across most convenience foods. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global savory ingredients market is estimated to be valued at Rs 53,000 crore in 2020 and is projected to reach Rs 65,000 crore by 2025, recording a CAGR of 5.2%. The significant trends shaping the savory enhancer market are:
The versatile consumer
Convenience foods, ready-to-eat meals, processed food are in every kitchen, making lives easier. As the convenience food market is evolving, consumer preferences are becoming more specific. Consumers pay a lot more attention to what goes into the food they eat, focusing on both taste and health. They are finding creative ways of designing their diets. There is a growth in veganism, and people are opting for flexitarian and reducetarian diets. This versatile consumer also demands special care from the food producers.
Traditionally, synthetic food flavors are of low cost and have outsold the natural flavor enhancers, but this is changing with the 'go natural' trend. Understanding this trend, food producers are constantly looking out for natural replacements for flavors and enhancers used in large-scale food production of high-demand consumer foods. Consumers are willing to pay more for the natural alternative. FMI's market analysis shows that 4 out of 10 consumers are now looking for naturally sourced food ingredients, which is further on the rise.
Perceptions drive sales
Perceptions of consumers determine which products go off the shelf in the convenience food category. Ingredients such as MSG (Monosodium glutamate) are popular and cost-effective but have been surrounded by numerous controversies. This has encouraged food producers to seek out a natural alternative to this savory-enhancing ingredient. Natural ingredients improve the credibility and perception of value delivered by the food product.
Understanding the market dynamics, Symega offers products to fit the need.
Symega Savoury Enhancer
According to the company, prepared with yeast extracts, Symega Savoury Enhancer is a natural ingredient that claims to complement and enriches your savory preparations. Yeast extract is a highly versatile ingredient derived from baker's yeast rich in free glutamates and helps create the umami profile in foods.
A free-flowing powder, this specialty ingredient claims to help manufacturers create a clean label product while delivering authentic taste and a rich flavor profile. According to Symega, the ingredient makes for a perfect replacement to the much-stigmatized Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) as well as Disodium 5' Inosinate + Disodium 5' Guanylate (I+G) across food applications. Being a yeast derivative, it is ideal for vegetarian and vegan preparations, including meat analogs.
This story has been first published on Symega website.