As an industry leader in high-quality taste solutions and specialty ingredients, Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition is passionate about breakthrough ideas and innovation. We believe that science is at the heart of great taste, and delivering that is both our expertise and our promise. This belief fuels our pursuit of the understanding of new taste and flavor concepts as well as the development of ingredients that harness the power of this research. The perfect example of this is the discovery of kokumi.
There are certain characteristics that develop in stewed, aged and fermented products that exhibit enhanced complexity, mouthfeel and thickness/body. Without any obvious textural changes, these certain characteristics cannot be delivered through the use of basic taste or aroma compounds. Ajinomoto Co. scientists in Japan investigated this particular concept using garlic extract, which led to the exciting discovery of kokumi substances. Harnessing the power and knowledge of these substances, Ajinomoto Co. developed products that deliver kokumi sensations to a variety of applications.
What are the benefits of kokumi?
Enhances impact, fulfillment, and harmony
Improves flavor authenticity, enhancing aged and fermented notes
Masks undesirable flavors common in low or reduced sodium foods
Delivering the unique characteristics and impact of kokumi can be tricky in applications such as plant-based products if you don’t have the right technologies to do so. Knowing this particular challenge, Ajinomoto's R&D team of scientists spent years developing the Savorboost™ line of yeasts and yeast extracts. This product line was designed specifically for creating the taste of umami and the sensation of kokumi while adding targeted flavor impact across many delicious applications.
We have two new Savorboost™ yeast extract products that deliver kokumi:
Savorboost™ BK (beefy-kokumi) – enhances kokumi characteristics and increases caramelized, roasted notes
Savorboost™ KT (kokumi-top note) – adds kokumi and brings flavors present in an application to the front of the taste with greater flavor impact.
Both yeast extracts deliver a complex flavor impact, continuity and roundness with no distinct yeast flavor. With less than 1% salt, these products can be used to deliver taste enhancement in low sodium applications and can deliver great flavor impact at cost-effective/low usage levels. They work best in savory products such as snacks, sauces, soups and gravies, but have also been found to add unique flavor impact in bakery and confections.
If you are still questioning the core concepts of kokumi, we invite you to learn everything you need to know from the kokumi experts. Come and taste Savorboost™ BK, which enhances roasted/caramelized notes, at our booth #4240 at IFT Food Expo. We are excited to be serving a savory meatless Canadian street food favorite, a traditional vegan Indian dish, a creamy spread you won’t believe is dairy-free, and three other delicious prototypes that feature our other versatile ingredients. We are looking forward to seeing you there!