Grilling and barbecuing foods imparts a unique flavor that people enjoy; it is the unmistakable taste that wood and charcoal give to foods that attracts consumers. According to the 17th Annual Weber Grill Survey, 78% of respondents prefer to grill outdoors, and 56% say the flavor of the food is paramount.

The trend also is apparent in many restaurants, where menus describe popular items as being grilled or smoked in some form, such as char-grilled, mesquite-grilled, and wood-grilled or wood-fired. To this end, Kraft Food Ingredients Corp. (KFIC) has introduced Organic Grill Flavor® and Fire Roasted Flavor to help food suppliers give consumers the flavors they want.

The Organic Grill Flavor is a natural, charbroiled grill flavor that incorporates the smoky and savory notes associated with cooking over charcoal. Additionally, the ingredient caters to a heightened consumer interest in organic foods. The grill flavor was showcased in corn bisque topped with a cream cheese crème fraiche at this year’s Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) show held in Chicago.

Typical applications for the grill flavor, which is available in a liquid and spray-dried form, include organic meats, entrées, sauces, gravies, broths, dressings, soups, snacks and side dishes. Kosher and GMO-free, this ingredient also does not contain hydrogenated oil. In addition, it can be incorporated during normal processing without additional steps.

Another KFIC product, authentic-tasting Fire Roasted Flavor, debuted at the show in several applications, including fire-roasted chicken cannelloni with Alfredo cream sauce, fire-roasted pizza straws, and fire-roasted potato and cheese soup. This flavor, which imparts fatty, savory, brown, smoked flavor notes, is part of KFIC’s Flavors of Cooking™ line. “Developing our Fire Roasted Flavor was a dedicated effort between our culinary and R&D teams,” said Michael Morrison, senior executive chef, Kraft Food Ingredients. “To create our unique, savory fire-roasted flavor, we immersed ourselves into the world of cooking with wood. We explored the ancient art of cooking in an Old World wood-fired oven, attended special culinary programs and experimented with a host of applications in our own wood-fired oven until we captured the essence of wood-fired flavor.” Fire Roasted Flavor comes in powder form and has a shelflife of 12 months. Typical applications include chicken, beef, pork, fish, vegetables, soups, dressings, gravies, pizzas and appetizers.

News of the New

Also in synch with consumer demand for full-flavor products was the new Golden Toasted Butter Flavor presented in a toasted crostini. The flavor is innovative, because it gives foods a rich, buttery flavor without imparting a significant amount of extra calories. The flavor can be infused into oils, dipping sauces, breads, soups and entrées. Available in powder form, Golden Toasted Butter Flavor is kosher-certified and does not contain hydrogenated oil.

KFIC’s Pasteurized Premium Cured® Cheddar Blend debuted in a Southwestern-style macaroni and cheese application. The cheese is a “proprietary blend of cheese that retains its flavor consistency and texture” and has the same flavor impact as club cheese, though with a lower cost and usage level. Its longer shelflife is also a bonus. Other suggested applications include sauces, soups, side dishes and entrées.

KFIC has several lines of flavors available to food manufacturers, including sweet and savory flavors, flavor enhancers and cheese solutions.

For more information:
Kraft Food Ingredients Corp., Memphis, Tenn.
Todd Hrubes, 901-381-6533