Sweet, salty, sour, and bitter have been recognized as the four basic tastes for centuries. It was assumed that other tastes originated from the combination of these flavors. Umami also known as the savory taste was identified by a Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda in 1908. Umami is a combination of Japanese words “umai” which means delicious and “mi” which means taste. It can also translate into “pleasant savory taste”.
Savory ingredients are used extensively in Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Over the past, it has gained acceptance in the processed food industry, restaurants, and other food service institutions. Savory ingredients are used in convenience food products such as dehydrated noodles, soups, or ready meals. Other products containing savory ingredients include chips, extruded snacks, fruit snacks, nuts, popcorns, pretzels, and corn chips. MSG is the most widely used savory ingredient.
Taste preferences vary from one person to another; sometimes it varies at a regional or local level. Companies operating in the savory ingredient market are engaged in new product developments to cater to local taste preferences. Ajinomoto has divided its product portfolio according to country-wise taste preferences. Increasing demand for exotic, ethnic, and spicy flavoring in food categories such as savory snacks, soups, and ready-to-eat food is expected to drive the market demand over the coming years.
The growing awareness of the ill-effects of consuming food additives and preservatives is anticipated to restrain market demand for MSG and other flavor enhancers. The Food and Drug Administration has classified Monosodium Glutamate as an ingredient that's "generally recognized as safe (GRAS)," but its use in food products remains controversial. However, yeast extract does not belong to the category of food additives but can significantly improve product flavor. The “clean label” status given to yeast extract is anticipated to boost its demand in Europe and North America.
Major companies operating in the savory ingredient market include Ajinomoto, DSM, Givaudan S.A., Kerry Group Public Ltd Co. and Lesaffre Group. Companies such as Royal DSM invested in expanding production capabilities and backward integration to meet growing demand and reduce dependency on third party yeast suppliers.
In-depth report on global savory ingredients market by Grand View Research: