Special aromas for vegetarian and vegan products
Smoky Light was founded in 1995 and specialises in smoke, grill and reactive aromas, which it provides to the food industry and aroma developers. In 2020, Smoky Light added special aromas for vegetarian and vegan products to its product portfolio. The company aspires to get a bigger cut of the vegetarian and vegan market and therefore joined Foodvalley NL’s Innovation field Protein Shift in February 2021.
Specific properties of vegetarian and vegan products
Managing Director Ahrend Buckers: “Sustainable nutrition, and more specifically the switch to vegetarian and vegan is the future. But only if meat and dairy substitutes cannot be distinguished from the ‘original products’, will we be able to convince meat-eaters like myself and reach a larger audience. Not only flavour, but also mouthfeel plays an important role in creating undistinguishable substitutes, which can be established with reactive aromas.
We are affiliated with Foodvalley NL, because we want to learn more about the properties of vegetarian and vegan products, and the resources used to make them. The more we know about these properties, the better we will be able to cater to them.”
Sustainable smoke aromas
Smoky Light has been focussing on sustainability for a much longer time: “CleanSmoke, for example, is a smoke aroma that we’ve created by condensing, purifying and filtering the smoke after burning wood. The smoke condensate that remains has the exact same properties as smoke that is made in a smoke cabinet, but it is tar, ash and PAH-free. CleanSmoke is added to the smoke cabinet in a very controlled fashion. Inside the cabinet, it is transformed into smoke gas. It contains just the right amount for the product that is to be smoked, but without any harmful emissions. This process is suitable for all food products that can be smoked, such as meat, cheese, peppers, vegetarian hot dogs and many more”, Ahrend Buckers explains.
Discussing product development together
At Smoky Light, we view everything from a kitchen perspective. “Clients often call us to discuss ideas. Our team members – including a butcher/chef, a fish specialist and 2 food technologists - know everything about flavour and mouthfeel and can support the sustainable food industry with product development and setting up efficient production processes. One question that is frequently asked right now, is how to get a proper brown colouring on vegetarian products. We are excited about those types of challenges and that is what we’re good at”, Ahrend Buckers concludes.
Ahrend Buckers, Managing Director