Like most in the industry in the last three decades, the French flavour firm has previously offered natural flavours produced using standard methods, with main contributors coming from natural chemical, essential oils, oleoresins, and ingredients such as yeast.
However the new line, called Mane Native, has been developed with the new definitions of natural flavourings laid out in the new flavour regulation, as well of principles of sustainability, in mind. In order to be called 'natural [vegetable x] flavour', 95 per cent of the flavour needs to come from that vegetable.
Although the company will continue to offer its standard flavours as well, it expects the Mane Native range to become increasingly prominent. Eric Davodeaum R&D director at Mane, told FoodNavigator.com: “We are placing ourselves in this as it is the future.”
He added that from now on the first approach to customers will be with Mane Native every time.
All 36 of the flavours are derived 95 per cent from the named vegetable. Davodeau said that the other five per cent are top notes, which give a note of freshness and also provide standardisation given the variations in naturally-sourced materials.
These top notes may be provided by biotech chemicals or by flavour preparations. For instance, a basil leaf flavour may be rounded out with essential oil or basil oleoresin.
In addition to the natural vegetable source, the company is paying attention to the sustainability record of other elements. It is using sunflower in preference to palm oil, the production of which has caused deforestation; for oxidation protection it is using rosemary only; and gum arabic is used instead of the thickening agent starch sodium octenyl succinate (E1450).
“Sustainability is something you hear about in the food industry, but not so much in the flavour industry,” Davodeau said.
Taste of the Jungle
Mane develops its ingredients by having its chefs prepare foods using traditional cooking techniques like steaming, roasting and pan-frying. The ‘gold standard’ flavours are then captured using the solvent-based extraction device called Jungle Essence, which allows the flavourists to use them as a reference.
Several technologies enable the flavourists to replicate the gold standard flavour. For instance, the extrusion technique is used to produce a roasted profile. The process known as bioheating, which heating powdered vegetable in oil quickly, to a very high temperature, creates a pan-fried like flavour; and the biotechnologies process, whereby the natural source is crushed with water and enzymes are added to draw out the flavour precursor, yields a steam cooked flavour profile.
Applications and new developments
The initial vegetable range includes such flavours as roasted garlic, poached onion, freshly picked basil, sautéed potato, steamed potato and ovendried tomato.
Davodeau said that these are suitable for culinary applications, such as soups, sauces and ready meals, in the first instance.
In addition, three more natural ingredient lines are in the works for the end of this year or next: seafood, meat and dairy.