Toward this goal, Butter Buds Food Ingredients (Racine, Wisc.) offers a solution through its line of natural dairy concentrates that not only provide flavor for many applications, but also additional functionalities. When used at amounts below the flavor attribute level, they round, harmonize, and mask other flavors—and also improve mouthfeel.
Long used to develop characterizing flavor, Butter Buds' family of concentrated natural dairy flavors, such as Butter Buds®, Cheese Buds®, Cream Plus®, Buttermilk buds®, etc., allow processors to develop high-quality, natural flavor profiles while using these ingredients at extremely low application levels.
Over the years, the company has broadened its core line to include ingredients that provide the distinctive flavor or “top notes” of butter, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, and many kinds of cheese. The uses for these flavors are broad to start with—bakery, snacks, dressings, dips, dairy products, beverages, confectionary, vegetables, and so on. But add in the enhancing function on savory flavor and the mellowing effect when the butter and cream concentrates are used at less than 0.5%, and the range of applications becomes almost limitless.
The expansion of applications for Butter Buds, the company's flagship ingredient family, is a prime example. The company uses a patented enzyme modification process that releases potent dairy flavors—flavorful fatty acids and esters—within butterfat. The resulting ingredients are natural dairy concentrates that not only contribute characterizing flavor but also elevate intrinsic flavors and enhance creamy mouthfeel. The use of these ingredients can lower costs by reducing butter, cream, and milk in dairy-heavy formulations, while improving nutritional profiles by lowering total fat and cholesterol content.
Buhler notes that customer feedback and a more nutrition-conscious consumer population remain the main forces behind the expansion of Butter Buds Food Ingredients applications. “A significant portion of our new applications research comes from the creative suggestions offered by our existing accounts and, in turn, consumer trends as well.”
Sidebar: Beyond DairyDried Beer Extract™ is a natural spray-dried beer flavor that complements the flavor in batters, snacks, soups, chili and meats. When used below the beer note threshold, it acts as a flavor enhancer. In chemically-leavened, rapid-process, refrigerated or frozen baked goods, the ingredient supplies the fermented notes that normally result from yeast activity. Use levels range from 1.5% and 3%.
Cocoa Buds® concentrates the flavor of cocoa fat into a powder designed to round off the bitterness of cocoa flavor or serve as a top note in white chocolate-flavored foods. Chocolate contains three times as much cocoa fat as cocoa solids. Chocolate-flavored foods generally rely on cocoa powder for flavor, which has nine times more cocoa solids than fat and, thus, is missing much of what gives chocolate its rich taste. Cocoa Buds used as low as 0.5% provides missing flavor without the cost, fat and processing challenges created by cocoa fat additions. White chocolate contains no cocoa solids and depends highly on the flavor of cocoa fat. Desserts, syrups, pie fillings, and other foods with a white chocolate twist benefit greatly from Cocoa Buds.