Bring on the Butter Flavor

Dairy flavors, by definition, are flavors that emulate dairy profiles in various foods--including dairy products themselves. Dairy flavors can be used in a broad spectrum of food applications, including processed foods, from muffins to mashed potatoes to Alfredo sauce.

In an interactive lab session atPrepared Foods’ R&D Applications Seminars--Chicago, Anand Rao, Ph.D., director of technical sales and services, Edlong Dairy Flavors, presented an informative (and, at times, delicious) overview of various prototypes that highlighted the use of dairy flavors in various food applications.

Diacetyl is a naturally occurring compound found in fermented dairy products and is often added to formulations to improve butter taste. Due to recent concerns over diacetyl content and lung issues, U.S. suppliers of diacetyl are diminishing. However, because butter flavors are an economical way of adding value to processed foods, a no-added-diacetyl formulation is desirable. Enter Edlong’s ED-Vantage™ flavors with no added diacetyl. ED-Vantage flavors act as a substitute for diacetyl, and they can be used in applications such as instant mashed potatoes, Alfredo sauce or butter cookies.

Many of the dairy components in Alfredo sauce, such as Italian cheeses, cream or real butter, are costly and high in fat. However, reducing dairy ingredients often has a negative effect on flavor. Cheese flavors using ED-Vantage, while reducing cheese content from 50% to 3.5%, can significantly change the nutritional profile of the product--reducing both fat and cholesterol content. (See chart “Alfredo Sauce Cost Reduction.”)

Butter is an essential functional and flavor ingredient in baked goods, and while shortening is a cost-effective alternative, it often lacks flavor. ED-Vantage butter flavors, in liquid form, can be added, along with shortening, to impart the natural butter flavor and texture, without the added diacetyl.

ED-Vantage flavors also can be used in beverages, such as yogurt smoothies or chilled lattés. Cultured or fermented products (yogurt, buttermilk, cream) are a good match with fruit drinks, and the impact of yogurt flavor can add creaminess and taste. Because yogurt is a cultured product, it has a naturally high diacetyl content. With ED-Vantage flavoring, the diacetyl content is reduced, without sacrificing texture or flavor. Additionally, many latté flavor variations can be enhanced with ED-Vantage.Cajetaflavor was originally made from goat’s milk. Darker than regular caramel, its sweet, caramel notes are a perfect mix with chilled coffee beverages. By using ED-Vantage flavor, the naturalcajetaflavor can be reduced to 0.1%, without sacrificing taste or smoothness.

These prototype formulas and the recipes that accompanied the presentation proved that real butter flavor and texture need not be sacrificed when attempting to reduce calories, cost, fat, cholesterol and diacetyl. It is possible to “bring on the butter flavor,” without bringing on the more negative attributes of using real butter.
 -- Barbara T. Nessinger, Associate Editor

For more information:
Edlong Dairy Flavors • Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Anand Rao, Ph.D. • 847-631-6772 •