Garlic and onion are among the most commonly used culinary condiments on the planet, but unpredictable climatic conditions and increasing demand has led to erratic price fluctuations for the fresh form, as well as their corresponding extracts and powders.
At the upcoming IFT Annual Meeting and Expo in Chicago, NTC will launch its natural garlic and onion alternatives, obtained after an extensive R&D project identified plant‐derived bi‐products rich in the precursors and, using a proprietary fermentation process, converted them to the key aroma compounds of garlic and onion.
Markus Beba, VP of sales and marketing for NTC, told FoodNavigator-USA: “Prices for these two commodities are very volatile and that was one of the reasons while we worked on our alternatives.
“Recent examples with our ‘commercial sponsors’ (clients who have been involved in the development phase) have shown that we are very cost competitive with good chances to offer cost-in-use savings.
“Funnily enough, for most of these clients, price was not the main motivation to work with us on this subject, rather than constant quality supply, no micro issues as well as the profile. Our products taste and smell really like fresh garlic & onion (not earthy, burned or sometimes even oxidized, like standard powders),” he added.
The global market for garlic powder is approximately 10.5 million MT/ year with China producing 80% of the world's needs, said Beba, while onion powder is about 75 million MT/ year with India and China producing 45% of the world's needs.
Beba confirmed that, in principle, the flavors can be used in all food products where garlic and/or onion would usually be used, but NTC is initially focusing on wet applications like soups, sauces, dressing, ready meals, ketchups, and mayonnaise. “Therefore, we developed the first two versions as liquid products. If the demand is big enough, we'll consider spray drying or plating in order to address the other segments.”
Mr Beba and NTC’s VP of innovation, David Johnston, PhD, have a long history in the flavor industry, having held senior executive positions at flavor giant Firmenich for many years. NTC began in 2012 with the release of an acid masker for dairy products. The company has also launched a natural fat enhancer, and a stevia masker.
The company is keeping its technology proprietary, but Beba added that the ingredients can be labeled as a ‘natural flavor’ are non-GMO & allergen free.
“To the best of our knowledge, this historical breakthrough will allow food manufacturers to stretch their current inventory, reduce their environmental imprint and ensure the continued supply of great tasting products to the consumer,” hesaid.