Flavor | Corporate

— Taste without compromise for alternative protein sources

— Focus on taste preferences for meat-free diets

Symrise is adopting an innovative approach, creating winning taste profiles for vegetarian and vegan food products. In the “Symrise Protein Center of Excellence” at its headquarters in Holzminden, researchers, flavorists, food technologists and chefs are developing authentic taste solutions for products based on alternative proteins. All components such as taste, texture and visual appeal meet consumers’ wishes for foods that contain less meat or are meat-free. With this, Symrise is addressing the global trend towards meat-free alternatives, offering taste profiles while keeping the indulgence factor

What will consumers want to eat in the future? Increasingly, meat-free products with a good taste. This corresponds precisely to the expertise of Symrise. Consumers eat meat-free foods for a variety of reasons, including concern for animal welfare, a desire for healthier food and adding variety to their diets. A current US study shows that few consumers accept compromises when it comes to taste. According to market research company Mintel, 68 percent of those questioned said that taste was the most important factor in dishes based on alternative proteins.

If consumers are to choose alternative protein-based products these have to overcome sensory and taste challenges. “With this in mind, we have been actively engaged with consumer motives and have derived preferences regarding meat-free products from them,” explains Eva Scholten, Marketing Manager Culinary EAME at Symrise. Vegan and vegetarian products need to do a lot: first and foremost, provide a juicy texture, a pleasant mouthfeel, spice, bite and even grill notes. Depending on the motive, requirements for natural and fresh ingredients in a product can also affect purchase and consumption. That is why there is a need to create new products in a variety of categories – a brand new generation that can do more than provide an alternative to previously-preferred meat variants. Consumers want a first-choice product with taste without compromise.

Symrise has managed to provide products made of pea, soy or rice proteins with a taste profile that includes all the preferred aspects. The onion is one of the most important suppliers of taste and a core competency at Symrise. Along with herbs, spices and a variety of notes that provide meaty attributes, Symrise relies on a wide assortment of vegan taste solutions that fulfill consumer desires for more naturalness. The company uses advanced technologies to develop savory base notes meeting all preferred aspects for alternative protein based products, in a cost-efficient and integrated answer to the global challenge.

From consumer preferences, creativity and intensive research to culinary innovations

In Symrise’s “Protein Center of Excellence” in Holzminden, flavorists and application technologists develop taste solutions for selected market-relevant end products. One of its focuses lies on taste solutions for savory meat-free product categories. Whether in burger patties of quinoa and pea proteins, hot dogs or falafel, Symrise tests every taste solution for its effects on the culinary end product and refines them according to consumer preferences. In addition to tangible results for its customers in the form of vegan finished products, the taste experts also incorporate individual customer formulas into their development of applicable product and taste solutions. Using special technological equipment, Symrise can develop individual solutions and perfectly configure the texture, appearance, juiciness, mouthfeel and taste for a variety of alternative protein-based products. Heinrich Schaper, President Flavor at Symrise summarizes the approach: “With our integrated taste solutions, we are contributing to the introduction of more sustainable ingredients in people’s diet. In this way, we’re meeting the global challenge of population growth and dwindling resources, while at the same time fulfilling changing dietary preferences.”