Grill flavors are beneficial because they allow cooked flavors in a variety of applications, even those that cannot withstand high heat.
Americans have fallen in love with grilled foods. “The grilling food category is ripe for innovation in flavors and preparation techniques,” reports Maria Caranfa, director of Mintel's Menu Insights. “Brighter tastes and innovative grilling flavors are providing more versatility on national menus.”

In 1986, Kraft Food Ingredients (KFI) developed a patented charbroiled flavor technology to replicate the unique flavor of grilling without having to reproduce the process. In the past 20 years, KFI has introduced over 50 varieties of Grill Flavors®. This versatile, cost-effective and extensive line of flavors delivers an authentic-tasting, grilled profile that enhances the aroma and flavor of marinades, sauces, dressings, soups, appetizers, side dishes, snacks and entrées.

“These grilled flavors will give you the essence of cooking flavors without standard cooking methods,” says Andrew Bosch, senior creative flavorist at Kraft Food Ingredients. “A lot of times, manufacturers don't have the equipment or time for these costly operations.”

“Products flavored with Grill Flavors taste like they've been cooked at home, and they give people a sense of familiarity,” says Bosch. “They build the foundation upon which flavor development can begin. The magic starts when you grill it.”

“Over time, [foodservice manufacturers] wanted unique qualities added to the grill flavors, and we accumulated other Grill Flavors and Flavors of Cooking™,” says Bosch. The different varieties of Flavors of Cooking reproduce the culinary cooking methods of roasting, sautéing, frying, using pan drippings and, of course, grilling.

Originally, the first char grill flavors developed by Kraft were 100% hydrogenated oil. Many of the bases have been revamped to be 100% hydrogenated oil-free (HOF). In addition to those mentioned above are the Woodfired Mesquite and Hickory Grills, Lemon Grill and Expeller Pressed Grill Flavors. Also, several other Grill Flavors, including Grilled Buffalo Wing, Gourmet, Woodfired Cherry/Applewood and Cajun are free of major allergens.

The consumer palate can detect different flavoring aspects to all of these profiles. For example, the CharGrill and the Back Yard Grill simulate backyard cooking from two different sources of heat. “The CharGrill emulates cooking over charcoal. This cooking method typically has smoky, char or ashy notes associated with cooking at higher temperatures,” says Bosch. “Back Yard Grill emulates the roast characteristic obtained from cooking in your backyard over a gas oven.”

Mintel also reported that innovations in smoked wood flavoring sauces and rubs are all heating up restaurant grills. Mesquite, Hickory and Applewood are among the top-five woods traditionally used in restaurants. Derived from a unique patented technology, KFI Woodfired Grill Flavor® delivers a smooth, wood-grilled taste without the harsh, smoky notes found in other smoke-flavored grills.

“Grill flavors are important for manufacturers who are trying to strive for a certain flavor profile or emulate a certain restaurant,” says Bosch. Whether looking for a Mesquite Grilled Chicken, Tequila Lime, Cajun Grill, Roasted Garlic, Sautéed Onion flavor profile or any other flavor, food developers can be assured by the fact that KFI has successfully handled the grilled flavor development process from idea to commercialization for 20 years and counting.

For more information:
Kraft Food Ingredients, Memphis, Tenn.
Andrew Bosch • 901-381-6631