A new hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) that provides low sodium but high flavor enhancement is being introduced by Innova, a Griffith Laboratories Co. (booth 2529). The company claims this HVP is the first product of its kind to lower sodium while maintaining the desirable flavor that food companies and consumers have come to expect from an HVP.
HVPs have been used for more than a century as a cost-effective flavor enhancer that serves as the backbone for gravies, soups, sauces, and other savory products. But the high levels of naturally occurring sodium in HVPs have limited their use in low-sodium products, which increasingly are in demand. Previous attempts to develop a viable low-sodium HVP option relied on potassium chloride, resulting in a bitter-tasting product that had limited uses.
According to Innova, which specializes in creating customized meat and savory flavors for food applications, its new Vegamine® Advanced Technology has solved this ingredient challenge that has vexed food manufacturers for years. The lower-sodium Vegamine AT products increase enhancement without sacrificing taste, and will support cost-reduction initiatives by allowing for a reduction in usage of expensive ingredients. Additionally, flavor creators will benefit from the high protein content of Vegamine AT.
“Low-sodium products have presented a real challenge from both a taste and cost standpoint,” noted Enrique Medina, Innova President. “Companies have struggled to find reliably affordable ways of lowering sodium without sacrificing taste. By reducing sodium levels in an HVP without losing its traditional flavor, our solution is a win-win proposition.”
Medina emphasized, “Our customers said we could really fill a void in the HVP marketplace if we could find a way to reduce sodium while still providing them the taste and affordability of the Vegamine they already know and love.”
The company is demonstrating the capabilities of the new HVP line in a chicken bouillon application at its booth. The significant implications for a wide array of food products are evident as a result of just a few early applications using the new AT products, observed Dafne Diez de Medina, Innova’s Vice President of Innovation, Research and Development. “This, really, is just the beginning of our journey.” For instance, by simply substituting Vegamine 83D AT for regular Vegamine 83D and reducing the amount of salt in the formula by 25%, a 25% reduction in sodium is achieved with a cost impact of only one cent per serving and with sensory attributes comparable to the control. Even greater sodium reduction solutions are possible, reflecting the Vegamine AT line’s improved flavor profile. An expert taste panel making blind evaluations of products containing them clearly perceived the benefits of the lower-sodium Vegamine products.
Vegamine AT is one of many innovative research advances that Innova’s flavor chemists and food chemists have developed in ongoing efforts to introduce the highest-impact, best-tasting meat and savory flavors for customers. Previously, Innova introduced SaltSavor™, a salt-reduction portfolio of taste-modulation technology based on the enhancement of sodium channels and the binding of umami receptors. Umami, one of the five basic tastes, is the Japanese word for “meaty” or “savory.” SaltSavor delivers an increased salty perception through stimulating taste buds compared to using salty-tasting compounds. Flavor enhancement is an added benefit.
At its booth, Innova will also be highlighting prototypes that showcase customized meat and savory flavors with special signatures that can be used in a broad range of food applications. By controlling all product development steps from concept through delivery and drawing upon a deep history of reaction flavor expertise, the company offers flexibility, creativity, quality, and value in flavors. Spray- and pan-drying technologies for products delivered in powder, paste, liquid, and water- or oil-soluble forms are available.
Flavors highlighted include Robust®, a full line of meat flavors; Vegamine hydrolyzed vegetable proteins; and SavorNotes™, a portfolio of savory flavors and flavor enhancers. Visitors will be able to sample dishes made with the company’s flavor bases, flavor enhancers, masking flavors, and savory flavors. Innova will also participate in a Trend & Solutions Tour on the “Evolution of Sodium Reduction.”