Kerry releases report on umami and kokumi

Topics discussed include dashi from Japan, tempeh from Indonesia and kimchi, jang and sikcho from Korea

Kerry has launched its Explore Umami and Kokumi campaign, an initiative inviting food product developers to access the company’s resources on the two tastes.

The components of the campaign include a research report that explores umami trends in Asia, as well as articles that explain how umami and kokumi work synergistically. The company has also developed a “taste lexicon” for umami and kokumi, as well as a portfolio of clean label solutions in the space.

An exploration of umami and flavour-building is a research report that talks to chefs across Asia to gain their perspectives about consumer taste preference and trends in their culinary space. Four key areas were identified: a move toward taste complexity; consumer acceptance of sour, bitter and umami tastes; increasing call for holistic taste experiences; and reduced public acceptance of processed, industrialized food production.

There’s an enormous emerging opportunity in savoury taste for chefs and product developers around the world to create new and exciting food innovations based on umami and kokumi

These and other themes are examined in the report as it discusses building taste using traditional Asian ingredients.

In addition, as part of its research into umami and kokumi, Kerry created a taste lexicon for the savoury category by developing a glossary of terms that includes a list of descriptors, definitions and references to describe the full palette of these tastes. This lexicon allows for a unified, agreed-upon language for Kerry and its customers to use when describing savoury notes in umami and kokumi, the company says. The importance of these universal parameters is that intended properties can be built into products in consistent, scalable ways.

Umami is said to elevatee, enrich and improve succulence, while kokumi purportedly improves depth, fullness of the mouth and richness. Used together, they are suggested to ensure depth, roundness and deliciousness for savoury products in a variety of applications, including prepared meals, soups, sauces, snacks, meat and meat-alternatives tailored to suit local markets. The report can be downloaded from the Kerry website.

“There’s an enormous emerging opportunity in savoury taste for chefs and product developers around the world to create new and exciting food innovations based on umami and kokumi,” said Kay Marshallsay, PhD, Kerry’s Global Product Director, Fermentation. “To assist in the process, Kerry first spoke to chefs across Asia about how they create umami and kokumi tastes, and then worked to develop ways to make these scalable and accessible to the food industry at large. This new research report provides an on-the-ground perspective that details the emerging global taste trends emanating from Asian cuisine.”

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