With the global cheese market worth tens of billions of dollars, getting nuanced taste profiles right is critical to a product’s success. The myriad of differences in profiles mean that personal preference plays a large role. Your idea of the perfect Cheddar may be completely different from that of the person next you. So, our first tip for plant-based product manufacturers who already have a target taste profile in mind, make sure the flavorist you are working with understands what your target is from the start and don’t assume you’re speaking the same language.
In addition, regional profiles can vary widely: what someone considers to be a Cheddar taste may not be a Cheddar profile at all. In fact, it may not even contain one. This is further reason for developers to try to have an ideal profile in mind from the start of the process, to communicate that with the flavor team they are working with, and to make sure they are working with an experienced team that understands these nuances. In the end, it will save a lot of time during the development process and get the product to market faster.
If there is a specific product in the marketplace the developer would like their product to taste like, it is extremely helpful for your flavor team to know that prior to working on development, so they can more quickly get to the right solution.
This is also why it is very important to use the correct terminology when communicating, Laura Enriquez, Edlong’s Master Scientist of Strategic Applications, adds. “We try to dig as much as possible into what exactly our customer is seeking to match up front so we can achieve the results needed. Having a target in mind will help save time and get the product to market faster.”
Developing Distinctive Dairy-free Dairy Flavor Solutions
Every manufacturer knows that the plant-based food and beverage market is hot, with rapid flavor innovation and demand constantly growing. It really is an exciting time for the sector. However, it may surprise many that — despite our long ties to dairy — we have actually been doing non-dairy dairy taste for over four decades.
Over 70 percent of our current product line contains no dairy whatsoever, and some of our truest dairy profiles are non-dairy, which makes us a perfect fit for plant-based innovators to partner with when developing.
How does Edlong ensure those pieces are well balanced? Enriquez explains that it begins with an understanding that the application of flavor in food is more than just adding flavors to a product. We must understand:
- how different ingredients interact (proteins, fats) with each other;
- what type of processing the product is going through (heat treatment, freezing);
- whether there are off-notes from ingredients in the formula (proteins, vitamins, minerals, sweeteners);
- and if there are any challenges around mouthfeel (waxiness from vegetable fat, oxidized notes)
“Once we have considered all of these factors, we can figure out how our flavors will help. As we taste our applications, our flavorists record the data so we have it as a reference moving forward. This helps us align with customers’ needs. We constantly analyze challenges the market can expect from new and novel ingredients, and we find solutions,” she shares.
With Edlong’s partnership, plant-based food manufacturers have a significant opportunity to profitably satisfy consumers. Contact our team of global experts today to start innovating with the only flavor company 100% focused on the taste of everything dairy can be.
Want to learn more about hitting the mark on matching authentic regional dairy profiles in plant-based products with dairy-free flavors? Make sure to read our full e-book on Understanding Authentic Regional Flavor Profiles!