Company insight

Clean label solutions without compromise

As the provider to many of the world’s top food manufacturers, Butter Buds pushes the boundaries of concentrated flavour technology. Its latest challenge is to retain the benefits of concentrated dairy flavouring, while catering to an increasing demand for clean label solutions. Its latest approach does just that, and there is even a plant-based alternative.

veryone knows that consumers are increasingly in search of cleaner labels. However, clean label means different things to different consumers. Generally, the bare minimum expected from a clean label is no artificial colours, flavours or any ingredients that require an education in chemistry to understand. For others, clean label means no added colours, no added flavours – essentially a “kitchen cupboard” ingredient statement on the back of the package. The term can also refer to how green and sustainable the product and the manufacturer are.


What is clear is that the clean label trend is not going anywhere and is highly likely to intensify as food manufacturers seek to differentiate their products by making their labels cleaner than their competitors. This trend presents many challenges, but in any challenge lies opportunity.

In a survey conducted by the PR agency Ingredient Communications – of 1,300 consumers across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific – 52% of respondents said they would spend over 10% more on a food or beverage product that contained ingredients they recognised and trusted. Meanwhile, 18% said they would pay 75% or more extra. Overall, 76% of respondents would be more likely to buy a product containing ingredients they recognised and trusted. So clean labels also result in higher profit margins.

The Butter Buds approach The Butter Buds range of natural dairy concentrates helps take advantage of the consumers demand for cleaner labels. It boils down to the process that Butter Buds uses to release all the flavour potential and functional benefits that milk and its associated products offer. More often than

Ingredients Insight /

not, the dominant taste in dairy products comes from the free fatty acids that are naturally present. In their natural state, the level of free fatty acids is quite low as they are typically bound and thus not very flavourful. Butter Buds uses a proprietary natural enzymatic process to break apart the fat molecule and create free fatty acids. By doing so, all the flavour potential these fatty acids have is liberated. The result is something that has a stronger butter, cream or cheese flavour but, more interestingly, also has the other functional benefits of dairy fat. For example, enhancing richness, boosting savoury flavour profiles and giving fatty notes back to lower-fat applications – as well as masking off notes in food products such as added proteins and vitamins.

Butter Buds offers a dairy-like flavour, richness and mouthfeel but without the high cost.

Plant-based alternatives

Prioritising natural flavour In Europe, this enzymatic process is recognised as a natural flavouring preparation under EC1334/2008 and a number of Butter Buds products meet the 95/5 criteria to be declared as natural butter flavour. When it comes to building a cost-effective clean label butter flavour profile, these products are a wonderful tool for the world’s top food manufacturers. For example, for a pastry application where butter is typically used but comes at a higher price, it is worth considering what alternatives are on the market. The combination of Butter Buds and vegetable fat provide the useful fatty functionality as well as longer-lasting rich buttery notes – all with the label declaration customers are looking for.

Another growing desire for customers is healthy eating products and plant-based alternatives. In response to this powerful market trend, Butter Buds has developed a full range of non-dairy, plant-based alternatives. The idea is the same – create products that have typical buttery, creamy tastes but, unlike standard flavours, also offer the functional benefits of dairy fat. Masking off notes is of particular interest in plant-based meats, beverages and cheeses. The necessary proteins, such as pea protein or soy protein, typically have strong bitter notes. It is also harder to deliver the creamy richness that, for example, a real milk-based cheese would offer. Butter Buds non-dairy range offers advanced masking capabilities to hide these discrepancies, gives back dairy-like richness to milk and cheese alternatives, and still offers a clean, natural flavour declaration on the label. When it comes to clean label, Butter Buds is solution-driven without compromising on flavour, making sure no diet is excluded. ● 59

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