Flavor Ingredients for Vegan Dishes

According to the latest reports, more than five percent of Americans – potentially up to eight percent – now identify as vegetarian, with one percent of individuals reporting that they follow a completely vegan lifestyle. Those numbers are growing all the time, with an increasing number of individuals choosing to eat less meat and fewer animal products, for both ethical and health-related reasons. This presents new challenges for the flavor industry.


While vegetarian and vegan foods once represented a very small specialty market within the flavor industry, these products are now representing an increasingly large part of the American food and beverage industry. As such, it is important for flavorists to have a good understanding of ways they can create great flavors without relying on meat, meat flavors, and other animal products. That might seem simple enough; however, even those who live on vegan and vegetarian diets want great, rich, and complex flavors. This means that flavorists must learn how to create these flavors in new and unique ways that comply with these specialty diets.


One of the biggest challenges for flavorists is creating products that replicate the flavors of meats and dairy products such as cheese, butter, and cream without actually using these ingredients. Common products that strive to recreate these flavors include vegetarian “meat” products such as burgers, bacon, and chicken tenders. Flavor ingredients such as Advanced Biotech’s Natural Savory Complex can create the meat flavors needed for these products, while “smoked meats” can be created using products such as Advanced Biotech’s Natural Guaiacol. Often, the meaty flavors of these products are kept at a minimum, and flavorists instead seek to recreate other flavors that can produce the same experience for consumers. Examples include using flavors such as Advanced Biotech’s Natural Maple Furanone to reproduce the maple flavor often utilized in bacon and luncheon meats.


Natural buttery flavor ingredients, such as Advanced Biotech’s Natural Isobutyraldehyde can be used in baked goods as well as in other products such as frozen desserts, snack foods such as potato chips and snack crackers, and in prepackaged food products to create a naturally buttery flavor that does not use real milk or cream in its production. Additionally, buttery flavor ingredients can be used to create vegan butter substitutes.


The frozen dessert industry relies heavily on flavor ingredients that can reproduce creamy flavors. These include Advanced Biotech’s Natural Delta Decalactone and Natural Butyl Lactate. This allows them to add the creamy flavor as well as the creamy mouth feel to products such as soy-based ice creams, coconut milk based ice creams, and many other similar products in order to create ice creams and gelatos that are as close to the real thing as possible. Additionally, these same creamy ingredients can be used to enhance the flavors of non-dairy milk products, such as rice milk, soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk.


Virtually any type of product can be enhanced using flavor ingredients. One thing that is important to note is that often, buyers searching for vegan and vegetarian products consider Natural Flavor Ingredients to be an important detail in the products that they choose. Flavorists should keep this in mind as they search for the ingredients needed to create their products.