A caramelized onion flavor is set to hit the US market, with manufacturer DD Williamson announcing that it has started commercial production of its new ingredient, designed for use in soups and sauces.
The leading caramel color firm is currently featuring the new flavor and color at the 2006 IFT food expo in Orlando.
"Caramelized onion has become a popular entrée, and people have become used to the taste. Our product is a way of trying to capture that flavor and color in an industry-friendly way," said Owen Parker, the company's vice president for research and development.
"As far as we know, we're the first ones with a product like this. Most people take garlic or onion, roast it first, then extract the flavor. We've flip-flopped the process: we've taken the extract from the onion and caramelized it," he told FoodNavigator-USA.com.
According to the company, the new ingredient contributes a savory flavor to soups and sauces, and also adds a rich brown color.
The product, which is priced at $10 per pound, may be listed on an ingredient statement as 'caramelized onion juice concentrate,' said the firm.
DD Williamson had previously introduced its caramelized onion on a test basis, and said the ingredient received a positive response from customers, generating enough interest to lead to full-scale production. According to the company, several major food manufacturers form part of its customer list for the new product.
The product, which is being manufactured at the firm's Louisville, Kentucky plant, is currently available only in the US, although the company said it could become available for export to Europe.
Other products featured by the ingredients firm at this year's IFT include its new line of organic caramel colors, which claim to be the first in the US to have received the USDA organic seal of approval.
The company said it developed the new products in response to consumer trends and resulting ingredient demand from its customers in food and beverage processing.
The colors currently in the firm's organic line include sucrose-based caramel color and caramelized rice syrup.
The company, which also has a caramelized apple flavor, said it is also in the process of developing additional prototypes derived from fruits, vegetables and other carbohydrate sources.
This year's IFT annual meeting and food expo is taking place in Orlando's Orange County Convention Center. The world's largest event on food ingredients is running between June 24-28, and has attracted thousands of food scientists, suppliers and marketers from around the world to learn about the latest ingredients innovations.