Biocatalysts, a UK-based developer and manufacturer of single and complex enzyme entities, has introduced a new microbial enzyme to enhance umami flavours in cheese production.

Flavorpro Umami, a new flavour protease, is particularly designed for use in the production of enzyme modified cheese (EMCs).

According to the company, a strong, mature, savoury flavour is required for EMCs.

The ingredient breaks dairy proteins into products that contain higher level of glutamic acid, and releases a high amount of umami flavour.

Glutamic acid is an amino acid that is believed to give strong, savoury flavor noted that are found in fermented or aged food.

The new umami flavopru enhancer, which can be used on its own or in combination with other dairy lipases, could also potentially be used to produce reduced sodium cheeses.

The company claims that the new enzyme is microbial and non-animal derived, and is appropriate for use in kosher, halal and vegetarian products.

Biocatalysts product development scientist Aelig Robin told that the enzyme had been developed specifically to be efficient at producing the rich savoury flavours that aged products possess.

Robin further said that the demand for flavor enhancement in EMCs had motivated the company to develop the new enzyme for the market, and the development team is also looking at producing similar proteases for other applications.

"An EMC cheese made to contain the protease could help to boost the savoury profile, meaning that you can cut out some of the salt in the product without affecting the taste," he added.

Recently, Biocatalysts also developed a new mixed lipase enzyme for dairy flavour applications.

Lipomod 957MDP is a mixed lipase that features protease activity with no traces of amylase activity, and acts as an alternative to porcine pancreatin, a pig pancreas derivative.