In Diana’s laboratory kitchen in the French city of Rennes, steam rises from a pot in which carrots, leek, celery and an entire chicken are cooking in boiling water. The taste of skin, fat, meat and bones is slowly drawn into the salted liquid until a flavorful chicken bouillon – both delicious and comforting – is created over the course of nearly two hours. Thomas Couëpel, Global Product Manager Meat and Seafood, takes notable pleasure in tasting the dish, but not just out of a love of food. Once again, he compares his sensory impressions with the taste sensations developed in the “Innomeat” project. In this project Couëpel and his team, including new Symrise colleagues from the group working on natural flavor complexes, are further developing the extracts, meat powder and fats from the Diana portfolio.
“Innomeat” is one of several dozen subjects that has grown out of the program called “Good Food, Great Experience”. The program serves as a framework in which the two companies, which used to work independently of one another, have been able to establish even more added value for the customer through unifying their know-how. This covers a range of subjects that combine their expertise in raw materials, their innovative technologies, and knowledge of consumers, trends and markets – all resulting in outstanding and unique product solutions. The way this works is evident in the test kitchen in Rennes. “The feedback with regard to our extracts – such as bouillons and broths – has always been positive. We have covered a wide spectrum of tastes that we can now work on improving together,” says Thomas Couëpel about the cooperation. Our customers in Asia, for example, prefer a very intense and also quite special experience in which notes of boiled chicken emerge as a particularly strong flavor component.”
Not an easy task, says Couëpel, if you want to remain committed to using only natural raw materials. With these raw materials, Diana has become Europe’s market leader. Specifically, Diana produces an entire range of natural extracts and concentrates for the food industry from the whole chicken – the entire skeleton including flesh, fat and skin fragments. “In general, a broth is cooked and then delivered in a thickened form to food manufacturers,” says Jens Koch from Symrise, who, with his French colleagues, has accompanied the process from the start.
When it comes to product development, Thomas Couëpel (right), Global Product Manager Meat and Seafood at Diana, prefers working directly over the stove.
We are able to develop completely different flavor combinations for our customers’ needs with a purely natural product.Jens Koch, Manager for natural flavor complexes
Jens Koch is responsible for Symriseʼs shared innovation process.
At the pilot facility in the French city of Rennes, Thomas Couëpel tests the first products from the Innomeat project.
- Diana produces the meat extract
- Symrise uses the product, no longer having to buy it from other suppliers
- The productʼs traceability and quality are easier to guarantee
- Simultaneously, purchasing amounts become more manageable