Salt of the Earth completes Mediterranean Umami trials

22 Jun 2017

Salt of the Earth has completed a series of trials of plant-based, vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives. The trials are said to have successfully demonstrated the ability to create tasty meat analogs with less sodium.

Salt of the Earth completes Mediterranean Umami trials

Salt of the Earth has completed a series of trials of plant-based, vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives. The trials are said to have successfully demonstrated the ability to create tasty meat analogs with less sodium. For developers seeking to meet the growing demand for meat alternatives, Salt of the Earth’s Mediterranean Umami clean-label sodium-reduction ingredient can, claims the company, be a key ingredient in creating meatless products.

Salt of the Earth notes that increasing consumer concern over sustainability and the global food chain, alongside the rise of veganism, plant power and clean eating trends, has facilitated diverse new product innovation in the global meat substitutes market, according to Innova Market Insights. For the U.K. market specifically, meat analog launches tracked by Innova registered a 4.9% CAGR (2011-2016), while the U.S. market recorded even higher growth at 8.7% CAGR in the same period. As part of this trend, even major meat companies have recently invested in start-ups and companies making plant-based and vegan meat substitutes.

Formulating meat-alternatives is complex, the company says. It takes multiple technologies to replicate authentic flavours and textures. To counter common off flavours from plant protein, Salt of the Earth says it is common to add a significant amount of salt—1.2-2.5%—plus spices and flavours, as meat’s distinctive flavour and texture characteristics are not easy to imitate using plant-based sources.

“The secret of our success is not just the novelty and functionality of Mediterranean Umami, but also its unique ability to enhance flavour and salty taste, allowing replacement of common flavour enhancers and reduction of sodium without affecting the finished product texture,” said Ehud Zach, Food Technologies and Application Manager.

Formulating with Mediterranean Umami is claimed to enable food manufacturers to meet the specific demand for plant-based meat analogs. The ingredient is clean-label, all-natural and rich in umami flavour compounds. It helps enhance individual flavour notes and contributes to an overall savoury flavour profile with a significant reduction of salt.

Salt of the Earth says its R&D department, in close collaboration with customers, has yielded great success, with a 25-35% sodium reduction across a variety of vegan and vegetarian products. Vegan hamburgers, vegetarian “chicken” nuggets, seitan-based products and frankfurter-style sausages all exhibited positive results in taste and texture.