Amano brings umami flavor through plant-based enzymes

26 Apr 2021

Amano Enzymes launched a new plant-based enzyme called Umamizyme Pulse for use by manufacturers looking to amplify the savory and umami flavor profiles of plant-based protein applications. The company said its enzyme can be added to foods like soups, broth, snacks and plant-based meat or egg substitutes.

This animal-free enzyme is optimized to produce high glutamic acid and cysteine levels and a less bitter flavor in proteins, including pea, soy, almond and rice. Glutamic acid and cysteine are essential flavor components for high protein foods, but they are not typically present in sufficient quantities in plant-based proteins. Amano’s new enzyme provides those flavoring components through its enzyme without the need for manufacturers to add additional ingredients to the product label.

Amano brings umami flavor through plant-based enzymes
Photo: Amano Enzyme

“It is comparable, or better than, traditional ingredients for producing a rich, savory flavor in proteins, providing customers with a vegan-friendly, clean label product,” said Keita Okuda, technical services team lead at Amano Enzyme in a statement. He added that this enzyme has the added benefit of boosting the flavor of plant-based products while reducing the quantity of salt.

Salt is an important component of plant-based products as it boosts the mouthfeel and flavor of a product. However, due to the components required to produce a plant-based protein alternative, dieticians have argued that the quantity of sodium present in plant-based burgers actually renders these alternatives not as healthy as consumers often believe.

Umamizyme is aiming to correct this dichotomy between perceived and actual health by amplifying the umami flavor in plant proteins using amino acids in a way that does not require the addition of MSG. The enzyme also boosts the kokumi profile of products to give a “sensation of richness and complexity.”

In addition to this non-GMO, vegan enzyme, Amano is looking to develop additional clean label enzymes that can enhance the texture, color, viscosity and stability of plant-based proteins.

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