With both the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association calling for the food industry to reduce sodium by 50%, baking and snack companies need creative ways to retain or enhance flavors in low-sodium products.

DSM Food Specialties is developing a range of natural flavors that can help to achieve salt reduction in baked products and snacks. The first product in this new range is Maxagusto G-28, a natural garlic profile containing only garlic and yeast extract. The flavor builds upon a reaction process the company has used for years and delivers intense garlic taste at approximately one-fourth the level of commercial garlic powders typically needed.

Because of their strong garlic notes, the new flavors allow formulators to attain a desired flavor profile without relying on sodium or monosodium glutamate (MSG). “Thiosulfinates could be the key — allicin, for example,” said Sree Raghavan, PhD, senior technical manager, DSM Food Specialties USA, Parsippany, NJ. “These compounds seem to play a role in triggering the salt taste perception process. Most people who taste [products flavored with Maxagusto] also claim there’s an enhanced salt impact.”


Originally developed for culinary applications, Maxagusto can be used in products such as potato chips, extruded snacks or garlic bread.

“We see a strong trend for authentic flavors in the snack industry,” said Joris Hermans, product line manager, process flavors, DSM Food Specialties, Delft, The Netherlands. “Because consumers are becoming more educated, the tastes they experience in prepared foods should resemble what they expect. That is, garlic-flavored foods should taste like the garlic they would get when these foods are prepared at home and not like the ‘cardboard’ flavor of dehydrated garlic.”

Snack manufacturers can also add Maxagusto to create a new dimension to an existing garlic flavor, imparting a fresh note to a more traditional garlic powder formulation. “One customer uses Maxagusto at 0.04% in an application, but it really gives the recipe a unique profile,” Mr. Hermans said.

Maxagusto also fits with the current trend toward natural or clean labels. Companies can list the product as “garlic, yeast extract” or “natural flavor” on ingredient statements because it is simply a reaction of fresh garlic and yeast extracts.


Because of the process used to create Maxagusto, the flavor retains a stable form well suited to topical applications such as in a seasoning drum. “It is a fully reacted product, meaning that the product remains stable when it is further processed, as in extruded snacks,” Mr. Hermans said. “Especially in dry applications, it is a very stable product.”

Maxagusto also yields cost benefits. “Because our Maxagusto range can be used as an all-natural complete flavor, there is no need to use artificial ingredients like expensive top notes,” Mr. Hermans said.

Maxagusto imparts freshly stir-fried garlic flavor without the degradation normally associated with garlic powder. “By reacting [garlic with yeast extract] simultaneously, we can capture garlic flavor components as soon as they form within the reaction system. Thereby, we can retain most of the original flavor — the allicin-type compounds — before it degrades into its breakdown products, primarily the di- and trisulfides,” Dr. Raghavan said. “These other compounds also have garlic flavor, but generally not as intense and pure and natural and fresh as allicin and its isomeric forms.”

“Other products really smell nice when the bag is opened, but when the snacks are consumed, the odor and flavor are not as strong anymore, mainly due to the volatility of the ingredients,” Mr. Hermans said. “With our Maxagusto range, the impact lasts.”