Would you like to discover our extracts?
For over 70 years, Metarom has been perfecting its extraction expertise to help you enhance your products with all kinds of natural extracts. Find out more about our extract expertise.
What is extraction?
Flavor extraction is the process of creating a natural food flavor by extracting it directly from a natural raw material of animal or vegetable origin.
To create this kind of flavoring solution, various chemical, physical or biotechnological processes can be used, such as :
- Steam distillation: capturing molecules entrained by steam injected onto a plant
- Expression: extracting the essential oil contained in a raw material by means of pressure
- Maceration or infusion: immersing a plant in a cold or hot liquid to diffuse its flavor
- Distillation: to recover condensed steam charged with flavoring molecules
This process must allow the creation of liquid, paste or powder solutions (alcoholates, infusions, oleoresin, resinoid, essential oils, etc.), loaded with the flavoring molecules of the extracted raw material.
These extracts can then be incorporated into a variety of products (beverages, baked goods, dairy products, etc.) to flavor them and give them a unique taste.
How does extraction take place?
There are five main stages in a food extraction process.
- First, the raw materials to be extracted (vanilla, mint, coconut...) must be identified: this is called sourcing.
- You can then choose whether to extract the raw material as is, or to subject it to a pre-treatment stage. Depending on the extract required, the raw material is dried, ground, roasted, peeled, etc.
- Once the raw material is ready, it can be extracted using one of the methods described above.
- Depending on the process used, a solid-liquid separation step may be necessary, usually by filtration or centrifugation.
- Finally, to adjust the flavoring strength, the extract can be concentrated by evaporation or membrane technology.
Using natural extracts: what are the advantages?
Using natural extracts offers a number of advantages in the food industry. The words “natural extract of” can be used on product packaging to create a differentiating positioning. What’s more, natural extracts are ideal for giving a product a positive image, as they are synonymous with naturalness and authenticity for consumers.
They provide a unique organoleptic signature (directly linked to varietal quality and the production process)
They provide beneficial properties, since certain plant extracts contain compounds that are beneficial to health, such as antioxidants or polyphenols.
They can be organic if the raw materials and solvents used to make them are organic. However, if this is not the case, they are bio-compatible. In other words, they fall within the 5% of non-organic ingredients contained in an ORGANIC product.
Would you like to use natural extracts to enhance your products? Metarom invites you to discover our full range of natural extracts, or to design your own to create a unique flavoring signature for your products.