We are consistently in process of investigating tomorrow’s key ingredients, flavours, fragrances and taste sensations
Food Marketing & Technology Magazine had an interaction with Ms. Ekta Kakkar, Director of Essentia Fragrance, Flavors and Seasonings Private Limited
1 How would you define flavours and seasonings as an essential ingredient for the process food industry?
Well, if I share you the size of the Indian food processing industry which accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total food market, and is one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth, it will make us understand how big the market of flavours and seasonings. Further, I must mention that it contributes around 8.80 and 8.39 per cent of Gross Value Added (GVA) in Manufacturing and Agriculture respectively, 13 per cent of India’s exports and six per cent of total industrial investment. The Indian gourmet food market is currently valued at US$ 1.3 billion and is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent. India’s organic food market is expected to increase by three times by 2020#.
The Indian food and grocery market is the world’s sixth largest, with retail contributing 70 per cent of the sales.
I have quoted the market size just to understand how big is the Indian food processing industry and this clearly gives an idea about the role of flavours and seasonings as an essential ingredient for the process food industry! Essentia as one of the most trusted company (serving since last 25 years) has its own significant role in fulfilling the demand of the process and related food industry.
2 How you do effectively serve the Indian Flavour and seasoning Industry?
Though we are considered to be part of the huge food industry, yet our role is to only supplement this industry with our flavours and seasoning products. Having said that, I will also like to tell that the factors that drive food industry are almost same for us too in many context! Take example of Indian spice manufacturing industry. Why they are so successful? Today’s busy life schedule disconnects majority of us from the recipes once passed on to us as “parampara” by our parents. Therefore, we rely on friends, Internet or TV shows of renowned chefs for recipes. And, this gives opportunities to the spice making companies to come out with ready to use spices (which actually are mix of numerous spices, flavours and seasonings) like Rajma masala, Chole masala, Paw-bhaji masala, Mutton masala and many more!.
3 The recent trends and the factors that impel the present market scenario? What is the major challenge in the flavour market?
If we go by the industry reports and projections the future of the Indian Food Sector is full of potential. The growth forecast of food industry is very positive and expected to be 8 to 10% CAGR by 2020. The analysis, I am sharing with you is based on socio-economic and demographic landscape of the country. Moreover, the factors which will affect the industry will be govern by Socio-economic and Lifestyle changes like the emergence of nuclear families; the increase of both partners working to supplement family income and Indians are travelling overseas more and adapting to different palates and cultures.
I do not foresee any major challenges.
4 What is the significance of seasonings and special formulations in food preparation?
Formulations have been used for many years to preserve, flavour, blend, thicken and colour foods, and they may even play an important role in reducing serious nutritional deficiencies among consumers. These ingredients also help ensure the availability of flavourful, nutritious, safe, convenient, colourful and affordable foods that meet consumer expectations year-round. However, our products are mostly used to improve taste, texture and appearance of the food items they are used in.
5 The food industry has been involved in a continuous programme of flavour development. What is the major driving force behind this?
In last few years, the countries around the world have come closer – International businesses and also Internet have exposed us to tastes and palates of different cultures and countries. Now, people who have travelled to other countries and liked taste of particular cuisine, they try to find similar experience in their own country. In other word, growing demand of food items of different tastes and countries motivates players in the industry to innovate and develop new flavours.
Also, as told you earlier, the lifestyle changes and nuclear families and also shortage of time in metros and big cities also contribute to continuous programme of flavour development.
6 What role does technology play in significance development of the flavour profile? Throw some light on your application and latest innovation in technology.
One of the major challenges food industry faces is the change in food flavour after processing, flavours formed via fermentation, odd flavours in foods and odd flavours due to chemical changes in the food. Technology on one hand helps find solutions to these problems and on the other guide flavour industry to also find solutions for these challenges. The industry also uses smart technology which actually is termed as taste technology. This technology drives innovation or flavour ingredient discoveries by allowing look at the interaction between different taste sensations.
7 During processing, the flavour composition of the food and beverages might alter to a great extent. What different techniques can be implemented to prevent the flavour loss?
Stability of taste and flavour is of interest to both food and flavour industry. I told you about the reason responsible for change in the flavour during different processes. Earlier, flavouring raw materials were produced under rather “harsh” conditions: heat, distillation at high temperatures, concentration, and extraction. These resulted in the destruction of all sensitive substances and hence 100% stability was not attainable. Now days, modern flavouring raw materials are produced under controlled and careful conditions: low pressure, low temperature distillation, extraction with low boiling solvents or CO2, careful selection of fresh, high quality raw materials. And, for this reason sensitive substances survive the production process and thus influence the quality of product.
8 Your aspect towards sustainable quality and service standards. What makes you a key differentiator?
Essentia’s success lies in using an effective combination of a professional team, processes and latest technology and is strengthened by liable teamwork & innovative ideas. We consider it a privilege to be associated with various big brands and esteemed organizations through the supply of products on regular basis. We always provide excellent quality material that adds taste to food items and seasonings blends above expectations.
We also have our own R&D team and the products pass through stringent quality control before they go out of our premises. Apart from the R&D, we also have a team of ‘innovators’ who actually are on hunt for new taste or cuisines of other regions and countries. This helps us to bring into the market new flavours and motivate even food industry to bring new food items based our new flavours!
9 Tell us about your innovations and the new opportunities we expect from you in the years to come?
We are consistently in process of investigating tomorrow’s key ingredients, flavours, fragrances and taste sensations. We look forward for evolving notions of taste and flavour!