Building great taste in meat alternatives

July 9, 2019 Roger Lane

Building great taste in meat alternatives

Plant-based meat alternative consumption is increasing, with more and more consumers incorporating them into their diets. Both retail and food service companies have joined the trend and have helped raise the profile of these products. Consumers are definitely responding, but according to consumer research we’ve done there is still work to do to create a delicious patty similar in taste and texture to real meat.

According to Christie McElya, Sensient’s Savory Innovation Manager, plant-based proteins give meat substitutes flavor off notes, with pea and mung bean protein being the worst offenders. Plant-based products can also have astringent, beany, and bitter-off notes, according to Sensient’s Chief Master Flavorist, Linda Gleason.

Through our connection to Sensient, Vegan Flavors offers a range of products designed to combat off notes like bitterness and beany notes associated with plant-based proteins.


A toolbox of proprietary technologies designed to mask the off notes commonly associated with sweeteners, vitamins, and functional ingredients like plant-based protein. “Since each formulation is unique and has its own specific taste challenges, we take pieces of the Smoothenol toolbox to develop a solution designed just for that product,” said Gleason.

SensaSalt™ 2G

A collection of yeast extract-based flavor enhancers developed for a wide range of savory applications. While the product was developed as a sodium reduction technology, allowing up to a 50% reduction, we’ve discovered it’s also a great flavor enhancer. “SensaSalt™ 2G provides unique value to our customers because it enhances umami and meaty flavors in plant-based products, reduces sodium naturally and labels out as natural flavor,” said McElya.

Providing consumers with the same great tasting flavors of real meat will have them craving more. Reach out to Vegan Flavors today to see how we can help you overcome the challenges you are facing with your meat alternatives.

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