Researchers from DTU National Food Institute in Denmark have developed new lactic acid bacteria that produce a natural buttery flavor perfect for use in plant-based food analogues, especially in dairy products.
“Adding animal-based flavors is key to improving the quality and taste of plant-based dairy products,” commented Associate Professor Christian Solem of the DTU National Food Institute, who originated the innovation. .
Natural vs artificial butter flavor
Food scientists try to mimic animal products by using bacteria in different ways. The butter flavor added to margarine is made by bacteria that convert the citric acid found in the oils into an artificial butter flavor.
Newly developed lactic acid bacteria convert milk sugars into buttery flavor, not from citric acid, but from sugars, achieving better and more real buttery flavor.
“We have created a shortcut to the butter flavor without using milk, but the butter flavor has the same good properties,” remarks Christian Solem.
Uses of Butter Flavor
Any plant-based dairy product can benefit from enhanced animal flavor. From yogurts to cheese spreads, the possibilities are endless.
“The solution is 100% natural and has been tested by a major Danish dairy with good results. We hope that more companies will want to explore it,” added Christian Solem.
The discovery is recent, and the product does not yet have a name. The researchers behind the technology will first publish their findings in a paper this fall 2022. Besides Christian Solem, other participants in this development are Belay Tilahyn Tadesse, Liuyan Gu, and Shuangqing Zhao.