International Taste Solutions (I.T.S) has developed Vegan Boost – a new range of natural flavour enhancers that replicate the indulgent characteristics of traditional bakery products in dairy and egg-free alternatives. The launch, which taps into the growing consumer interest in plant-based diets, is timed to coincide with Veganuary.
Available in liquid and powder formats, Vegan Boost offers an all-in-one solution to improve the sensory quality of a range of plant-based cake and patisserie products by accentuating buttery and creamy flavours. A higher strength range, Vegan Boost Extra, is also available if more intense flavours are required.
There are several ingredients bakers can use to rebuild the structural properties of a product when dairy and egg ingredients have been removed, some of which may create off-notes. Vegan Boost masks these and delivers an authentic flavour experience to ensure those who follow a plant-based diet can enjoy the same delicious bakery products as other consumers.
Carl Smith, Head of Innovations at I.T.S, said: “Consumer demand for plant-based products is rising, but until now the bakery sector has been a little behind the curve. Our bakery customers know we are easy to work with and they asked us for help in enhancing the flavour of their vegan cakes and bakery ranges. We set about creating a straightforward alternative to the options currently available from the larger flavour houses. Vegan Boost offers no-nonsense flavours, and it provides an easy-to-use solution that is proven to work.
“At I.T.S we’re passionate about helping our customers stay a step ahead of their competitors. That’s why we developed our message ‘A Braver Flavour’, which describes both who we are and the benefits we offer. We stand with anyone who wants to do something new, something different or something braver. And we believe Vegan Boost thrusts the plant-based bakery sector into a new era of innovation.”
To assess Vegan Boost across different bakery products, I.T.S produced a cupcake and a brioche in-house and presented these to a team of panellists. The group compared the organoleptic characteristics – such as ‘buttery’, ‘richness’, ‘indulgent’ and ‘creamy’ – of a vegan versus a non-vegan version of the recipes.
The vegan cupcake fell short on many of the sensory elements, but when I.T.S’s flavour experts added Vegan Boost to the plant-based recipe, it enhanced the buttery qualities and delivered more fatty notes to amplify the cupcake’s perceived indulgence.
To create the vegan brioche, I.T.S replaced the milk, butter and eggs with almond milk, olive oil, vegan butter and a small amount of lemon juice. The vegan brioche performed poorly, but when Vegan Boost Extra was added, the panellists said that the enhanced dairy and egg-free brioche was richer, with significantly improved creaminess and buttery characteristics.