Mastertaste introduces new ethnic flavors

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Flavors, Food

Flavor firm Mastertaste has expanded its portfolio to include a
wider range of ethnic flavors, on the back of growing consumer
demand for more adventurous food and beverage products.

New products developed by the firm include Moroccan and Indian flavors, while Caribbean and South American flavors are also currently in development. "Consumers are becoming more accepting of exotic flavors, and the market for ethnic foods in the US continues to grow. Consumers now demand flavors that go far beyond Asian and Italian, and the new face of ethnic food includes flavors like cumin, garam marsala and cinnamon,"​ said Mastertaste. The firm's new flavors fall under its Natural Product Division's Flavoresin line, which are natural flavors composed of essential oils and oleoresins. Oleoresins are natural liquid spice or herb extracts, consisting of volatile and non-volatile components, while essential oils are plant-derived volatile components. Products developed over the past year and now currently available include five new Moroccan and Indian flavors: Moroccan Flavoresin, Garam Masala, Thai Curry, Tandoori, and Teriyaki. "The main reason for the development of these flavors was demand coming from our savory flavor applications group. They've been requested to develop more flavor systems that incorporate ethnic flavors,"​ said Scot Benn, technical director of the Natural Products Division at Mastertaste. According to Benn, the development of the firm's Flavoresin line is an "ongoing project"​, and flavors currently under development are Caribbean and South American flavors. These include Callaloo Voodoo (Haiti), Caribbean curry, Cuban, Jamaican Beef Patty, and Guyanese Pepperpot. Again, this move comes from growing demand for a wider range of flavor combinations from customers and the flavor applications group, Benn told FoodNavigator-USA.com, adding that initial tests on these ingredients will probably occur later this week. In 2005, the US ethnic foods market, including Hispanic, Asian, and African-American food and beverage products, generated about $75bn in annual sales, which was equal to $1 out of every $7 spent on groceries. And the growing diversity of consumer palates as they warm to the increased ethnic diversity of foods and flavors continues to be seen through the increased sales of products such as spices and seasonings. A report by Packaged Facts published in June found that the increased interest in bigger, bolder flavors has resulted in a gradual but steady growth in annual spice sales. These grew by 10 percent since 2001, to reach a total value of $1.2bn (excluding salt and pepper). Mastertaste also confirmed that over the past year it has seen increased desire from its customers to experiment more in ethnic cuisine. "While Mexican and Chinese food have always been a popular choice among American consumers, there has been increased curiosity and acceptance of more exotic and regionalized ethnic food, such as Cuban, Spanish, Thai and Japanese. Now Indian- and Moroccan-inspired foods and flavors are poised to be the next big thing in ethnic food,"​ said the company. Its new flavor products are classified as natural flavors under FDA guidelines.

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