Home Sea food “There was a little bit of, Oh my God, that’s not good…”

“There was a little bit of, Oh my God, that’s not good…”


“For me personally, it was dramatic”, she told FoodNavigator-USA. “I have become anosmic [she lost her sense of smell] and I lost my sense of taste, so I had a bit of ageusia [lost sense of taste] after a few days of having COVID in December, in January.

“The taste came back after a few days, which gave me hope, but it was very different with the smell, which was a pretty weird experience considering that I’m a flavorist. There was a little … Oh my God. It’s not good. Maybe I should wing it for the rest of my career.

“My sense of smell returned after about three months, but it gradually returned and I had to work on retraining my senses. Now I’m now about 95% there, but some things seem to smell more strongly, and for some things I take a little longer between smelling and recognizing.

Add flavor to plant-based meat substitutes

Right now, Wright said, ADM’s flavor business is working on several projects, including a lot of collaborative work with other divisions of the company around the alternative space of meat, products. dairy and seafood, which presents unique challenges.

On vegetable meats, she explains, there are many sensory issues: “It’s not just about the taste when you eat it, but also the taste released when you cook it. And then all the elements of the piece of meat, the fat, the roasted notes, the grilled notes …

“Over the past 18 months, as this trend has exploded, our capacity has exploded with it. I think we also have the advantage of having really delicious protein. [within ADM], but also the ability to work with our protein experts to create the right proteins for different products and then we can put together the right fats and oils, the right flavor components, the right colors.

“This is the peculiarity of ADM; we have this huge portfolio, so we can attract these scientists and experts and collaborate, which gives us an edge in the market. “

Fat and flavor of vegetable meats

When it comes to plant-based meats, fats play a huge role in flavor, mouthfeel, and texture, she said.

“Even in the [conventional] meat world, when you compare a grass-fed steak to a good aged marbled fat steak, there is a different taste experience and the way it melts in the mouth and releases the flavor is something we are on very concentrated. So we’re looking at how we can incorporate that into a product, so that when we cook it we get the right release of not only the flavor but also how the fat melts.

“We have a division that focuses on oils and fats and there are a lot of scientists working on this issue. So are we still there? Not quite, but are we getting better? Yes, because the original alternative meat products were very dry.

“And that’s the other part. You need fat when you cook, you need it to melt, and then you need that fatty aroma to be released in balance with all the meaty notes, so that’s a challenge.

Proteins tend to bind flavor

So when do you add flavor to plant-based meat?

“There is definitely an opportunity to add flavor during the extrusion process”, says Wright, “and this might be a good time to add a masking agent, because protein tends to bind flavor, which is one of the downsides, it sucks flavor, binds it, so you really want to put in sacrificial lambs. there so they can tie that flavor.

“We’re also looking for other methods where we can protect a certain amount of flavor and use encapsulation technologies to protect the flavor of the protein, so that when you cook it starts to be released.”

Cheaper pea protein can have “very unpleasant vegetative flavor notes”

Another benefit of being a protein and flavor company, she said, is being able to be involved every step of the way in the development process.. “When we were developing our pea protein at ADM, this knowledge of flavor chemistry helped us work with the engineers, identify where notes are produced in the process, and modify the process.

She added: “I know you’d say I’d say this, but if you know me I call a spade a spade, and I’m being very honest, I think we have the cleanest tasting pea protein there is.” If you go for cheaper pea protein they can have some really nasty off notes which are very difficult to deal with, there is that vegetative side. pyrazine taste which is quite unpleasant. “

Alternative Seafood: Many consumers don’t really like the smell of real seafood, so reproducing it accurately may not be the goal

The seafood alternatives space is especially great for a flavorist, she said, because in some cases you don’t actually want to replicate the scent of certain fish.

“I mean there are notes in seafood which are very animal, which have almost a fecal type note, especially when you talk about shellfish, and then with other fish, I think none of us don’t like that ammonia type note, the trimethylamine type note, which can be quite pungent. It doesn’t taste as much as it smells, but it’s still a little off-putting.

“So of course it’s something that we can change and that we can work with. We could be very authentic, because we know what makes up that kind of flavor, but that’s the beauty of creating the taste; you can sweeten up some of the more negative attributes of a natural flavor so that you can focus on the meaty flavors, the true meaty type of tuna.

“Tuna is a fun product” she added, “because many people actually prefer the [smell and taste of] canned tuna versus fresh tuna.

Interested in formulating herbal seafood?

Join us tomorrow (Wednesday, October 27) at 10am PT / 1pm ET in Part 3 of the FoodNavigator-USA TV Series: “The next step for seafood alternatives? where we’ll talk to Chad Sarno at Good Catch; Michelle Wolf at New Wave Foods; Anne Palermo at Aqua Cultured Foods; Marika Azoff at the Good Food Institute; and David Benzaquen of Mission: Plant LLC.


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