Filling and topping caramels are technical caramels, obtained by controlled cooking of sugars in the presence of other ingredients, such as raw materials of dairy or vegetable origin (condensed milk, vegetable fats, texturizers, etc.). These ingredients give the resulting caramel an indulgent, technical touch.
Textured caramels can be used in all sorts of applications:
- Dairy products
- Plant based desserts
- Bakery, pastries and cakes
An extract is a product obtained by treating a natural raw material, of plant or animal origin, with one or more solvents (mainly water, alcohol, etc.)
The material is used as is or prepared by one or more traditional processes (e.g. grinding, roasting, peeling, drying, etc.) with a view to extraction (e.g. infusion, distillation, etc.), then separation (filtration, centrifugation, etc.).
An ORGANIC extract is composed of an ORGANIC raw material and an ORGANIC solvent. Less powerful than a flavor, it can increase the final cost of a product.
Take vanilla, for example: vanilla pods are ground, mixed with water and alcohol, then heated and filtered.
Manufacturing food caramels is a meticulous process. The first stage involves mixing all the ingredients : sugar, butter (sometimes salted) and cream. These ingredients are then heated at a precise temperature in large vats. As the temperature rises, the mixture caramelizes, acquiring its characteristic color and recognizable aroma. Once our mixture has reached the desired texture and color, it is cooled and subjected to quality control before being packaged.
Caramelization is the process of heating water and sugars to create caramel. The difference with the Maillard reaction is that in the latter, proteins are added to the process. Ideal for condensed milk, cream or milk powder, the Maillard reaction modifies the flavor, color and texture of caramel.
Food flavorings must not be consumed as they are, but rather mixed into your drinks, cookies, ice-creams, etc. Food flavorings are highly concentrated, so dosage is minimal and depends on the type of application to which it will be added. Our R&D service guides you step by step in the creation of your flavor in its usage.
There are 4 of them.
Natural X flavor (NXF): a flavor made up of at least 95% X. The taste of X is highly recognizable. The remaining 5% contribute to giving a particular note to the flavor.
Natural Flavor (NF): the flavoring ingredients are of natural origin and obtained by natural extraction processes. However they come from different sources.
Natural X flavor with other natural flavors (NXF WONF): the proportion of X is less than 95%, but the taste of X remains highly recognizable.
Flavor (F): Flavoring ingredients are synthetic or natural and synthetic.
According to the Official Journal of the European Union, a food flavoring is “a product not intended to be consumed as such and which is added to foodstuffs to impart odor and/or taste or to modify them”. The flavor is therefore purely associated to the taste of food ingredients. A flavoring has a nutritional value equal to 0. Flavors are mixtures of raw materials that comply with all applicable regulations.
It is an ingredient in its own right and is not an additive.
A flavor can be composed of 3 elements:
- A carrier (alcohol, vegetable oil, water…)
- A flavoring preparation (extract, distillate, infusion, juice, essential oil, etc.)
- A flavoring key (a mixture of flavoring molecules)
Metarom’s natural flavors are manufactured in several stages, and need a variety of production tools. Our specialists pay close attention to the different types of ingredients used to produce each natural flavor. So it all starts with the selection of natural raw materials by our teams. These ingredients are then transformed via extraction procedures. Once the extracts are obtained, they are mixed to other natural ingredients to create food flavors. Each step of this process is meticulously orchestrated to conserve all the quality of the flavor before incorporating it in the final product.
We can distinguish at least 4 main reasons to use a flavor in a food ingredient.
The main thing is to give the products a specific note, giving it a signature. This has been Metarom’s personal mission since 1953.
Adding a flavor can support or restore an aromatic note lost or modified during the manufacturing, cooking, preservation or storage process.
A flavor can be integrated to mask an unpleasant taste like those of minerals and fatty acids. Flavors are used for this effect in the pharmaceutical industry.
A flavor smoothens out the taste of a finished product, despite variations in the taste of raw materials due to the vagaries of the weather, which have a direct impact on the quality of plant harvests. In short, it guarantees an organoleptic result with different ingredient matrices (see active solutions in the Acti’Sens range).
Powdered flavors are favored for cereal products that undergo heat treatment, such as cookies. This type of flavor is easy to handle and is integrated easily into the preparation of the flour of a biscuit or a cake. It is incorporated in a variety of food products.
Liquid flavors can be more powerful and are widely used to flavor beverages, but also all types of food products such as ice-cream, cereal products, dairy products, etc.
Synthetic flavors make it possible to offer the largest possible number of consumers tastes that would be unavailable to them in their natural version. The question of price is a factor to be taken into account, since a synthetic flavor costs less than a natural flavor, but this is not the only reason. These synthetic flavors make tastes accessible to all consumers, for which there are not enough raw materials on the planet.
Watch out for bias! Synthetic flavors are as safe for the health as natural flavors.
63% of consumers think that all flavors are artificial*. Whereas 70% of flavors are natural** and France is the leader in this market.
*According to a survey carried out by the SNIAA (Syndicat National des Ingrédients Aromatiques Alimentaires [ French Flavor Association]) for OpinionWay,