Sensient Flavors & Extracts introduces new natural-based approach to smoke flavours

Sensient Flavors & Extracts has developed SmokeLess Smoke, a range of natural, clean-label flavours covering the full palate of the most popular smoky flavour notes desired in gourmet culinary products.

In response to the European Food Safety Authority’s recent evaluations of primary smoke condensates and smoke flavourings, and the looming expiration of the use authorisation of these flavours, Sensient Flavors & Extracts developed SmokeLess Smoke.

The range of flavours are natural solutions that cater to diverse smoky flavour notes while being free of actual smoke condensates and meeting requirements for natural, vegan, non-GMO, Halal, and Kosher label claims.

“At Sensient, we pride ourselves on delivering natural ingredients that not only meet health and sustainability goals but also deliver a delightful culinary experience,” said Mitin Rathod, global marketing manager, Sensient Flavors & Extracts. “SmokeLess Smoke provides food and beverage producers with options to meet the growing consumer demand for unique smoke tastes across an array of products, including meat, fish, cheese, dairy, snacks, and beverages, while addressing regulatory concerns.”

The range covers the full palate of the most popular smoky flavor notes delivered by traditional primary smoke flavouring.

Sensient brings to bear its deep knowledge of geographical preferences: for example, a barbecue taste for UK consumers will be different than one for people in Spain. Sensient can reformulate flavors to create unique signatures based on the core smoke types:

  • Smoke type: strong ashy with balanced fruity and woody undertone
  • Hickory type: very earthy and woody
  • Oak type: sweet woody style with mild burnt and nutty notes
  • Mesquite type: sweet barbecue style flavour with savory umami notes and a meaty or bacon undertone

“Our team of flavourists from around the world developed smoke flavor profiles — without actual smoke — by selecting and combining natural raw materials that are safe and compatible with consumers’ expectations,” Rathod said. “What’s more, they have done this while identifying our customers’ needs and their applications and processes, validating our aromatic solutions within our customers’ finished products.”

Background on the EFSA opinion

In total, authorisation for the use of eight primary smoke condensates and flavorings are likely to expire by the end of June 2024; two expired at the end of last year. The EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings released new scientific opinions about the safety of the remaining eight smoke flavor primary products that were due for EU renewal, concluding that “based on the available scientific evidence, experts could not rule out concerns regarding genotoxicity.” This means that, pending formal EU decisions that are anticipated to come shortly, EU authorisations for primary smoke condensates will be prohibited by the end of June 2024.

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