Our Head of Innovations, Carl Smith, explains why natural smoke flavourings are replacing “true” smoke flavours.
With the recent boom of plant-based products, the demand for savoury flavourings has really taken off. One of the most important and most challenging flavour profiles in the savoury range is smoked flavours. They play a huge part in not just meat flavoured products, but a whole range of savoury applications.
Traditionally “true” smoke flavours would have been used, but now people’s heads have been turned by the benefits of natural flavourings. By using natural flavourings you can dramatically improve smoked flavours of not just plant based products, but a whole range of savoury and even sometimes sweet products – all whilst being completely smoke free.
What is a “true” smoke flavouring?
“True” smoke flavourings are produced by the burning of the wood to create the smoke, then condensation of the smoke that is produced (oak, beech, applewood, hickory etc). The condensed smoke is then usually separated by physical means into a number of fractions – a water-based primary smoke condensate, a water-insoluble tar phase and a water-insoluble oily phase.
Clearly, smoke in it’s pure form contains components that are harmful to human health, so the primary condensate and fractions of the tar phase are purified to remove these. The oily phase is a by-product and unsuitable for use in the production of smoke flavourings.
The purified fractions are then suitable for use in foods or for the preparation of smoke flavourings through further processing and the addition of other flavourings,. additives and solvents.
Legislation cracking down on smoke flavourings
The legislation surrounding the use, labelling and declaration of “smoke flavourings” is quite distinct and sits outside of the EU legislation for flavourings and as such, many food manufacturers are becoming more reluctant to use true smokes and are looking to create the flavour and aroma of smoke by using Natural Flavourings.
Why choose natural smoke flavourings?
I.T.S has developed a range of “Smoke-free” Natural smoke-style flavourings for use in a wide range of product applications designed to deliver characteristic smokey notes whilst being declarable as Natural Flavourings.
In addition to flavourings delivering different smokey characters, we have also combined the smoke element with a number of other flavourings such as Vanilla, Caramel, Apple, Plum, Strawberry, Maple, Cheese.
These are carefully balanced in such a way that neither the smoke nor the complementary profile dominates the overall delivery.
Get in touch to request a sample of any of our smoke range or talk to one of our specialists for further information.
The smoke-free range includes:
Smoke style (soft, applewood)
Savoury pastry fillings
Plant based foods/meat analogues