The new line, called Maxagusto, has been in development for over three years. The focus is on vegetables and spices, as the company noticed there was a need for vegetable notes that reflect authentic culinary tastes across the region. The first to be launched is a freshly fried garlic flavour, “a very Asian taste profile”.
Ken Hazzard, regional sales director for Asia Pacific, explained that the idea was to replicate the notes of garlic that is typically hand-fried all over South East Asia. The result is said to be an authentic, intense garlic flavour that is 4 or 5 times stronger than garlic powder.
It is a versatile tool that can be used with other notes to create flavours that match specific preferences in different markets. For instance, in the US fried and roast garlic flavour is popular, in Southern Europe garlic is a major component in aoli, and garlic bread and crisp seasonings are popular the world over.
Other flavours in the range expected to follow soon are onion and an authentic Indian massala.
Hazzard said: “Companies are seeking to increase market share, and one way to do that is by offering a better product – natural, authentic and culinary style”.
He added that Asian manufacturers are becoming more sophisticated, and consumers are not searching for Western foods per se but more authentic local foods – for instance “an improved quality of flavour in local products like instant noodles”.
The flavours in the Maxagusto line are all natural, so fit with the regulatory requirements for natural flavours under the new European legislation – as well as different regulations in Asian countries.
Coen van Oorschot, business industry manager process flavours, said they are could be described as “flavouring foodstuffs”.
In 2007 DSM opened a new process flavour plant in Xinghuo, China, in order to expand its product range and double its capacity. The $10m investment was justified by observed general market growth in the flavours market - particularly in Asian countries like China, where food preferences are evolving with the emergence of middle- and upper-classes towards more restaurant-style foods.
Van Oorschot said: “It is truly exciting letting the Asian region be in the lead… being global means being Asian.”