From canned soups and stews to frozen dinners, there are a number of different meat products that are in need of enhancement with flavor ingredients. One of the particular challenges that faces flavorists when working with these products is deciding what they need in order to produce the most accurate and delicious meat flavors possible.
The most obvious and basic option is to utilize flavor ingredients to boost the “umami” of meat dishes. And while this is a great way to ensure that the product has the meat flavor that consumers expect, it represents just one small piece of a much bigger puzzle when it comes to the creation of meat flavors.
One thing that is important to note is the fact that consumers do not just think of the flavor of the meat when they think of the overall experience of these different types of products. Most associate meat with the flavors of the various marinades, sauces, herbs, and vegetables that they are commonly served with. As such, it is important to think of these factors when looking to boost the overall flavor of meat, regardless of the type of food product that is being made.
This is especially true when very specific types of meat flavor are being produced. As an example, consider the flavor of a beef roast. While the beef itself is not that different in terms of flavor than a steak, a hamburger, or any other type of beef product (excepting that there is no smokiness to the roast as there might be with a steak), what beef roast does have is a common association with flavors such as onion and carrot. Therefore, a flavorist would be wise to utilize flavor ingredients in the creation of products such as soups, stews, or even flavored noodle mixes that are looking to recreate these flavors.
This same principal in flavor creation can also be applied to the creation of meat flavors for non-meat food products. When creating vegetarian food products that seek to recreate meat products, it is important to consider the additional flavors that make up their profiles.
Pork ribs do not just taste like pork, and neither should vegetarian “pork” rib alternatives. Additional flavors may be used to recreate a smoky flavor to garlic and tomatoes, which serve to help recreate the flavor of barbeque sauce directly in the food product.
On a final note, one thing that a flavorist cannot forget in the creation of these products is the role that fats play in these flavors. Fatty flavor ingredients can add depth and character to a meaty flavor and make it much more authentic – and delicious.
From chicken to beef roast to pork, these factors should be taken into consideration any time a flavorist is looking to enhance, or even to recreate, a meat flavor. Doing so can help ensure that consumers are able to get the full flavor experience that they expect.