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Chicken Broth, But Make it Vegan

Postcards from the Bench

Chicken Broth, But Make it Vegan

March 2022 | Ron, Principal Research Chef

In the first 6 months of 2020 I decided to embrace the vegan lifestyle. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it granted me the opportunity to try a variety of meat alternatives, including cheese, ice cream and dairy replacements. I explored what can be done with vegetables - cauliflower steaks, mushroom jerky, plancha carrots, vegetable noodles, veggie burgers and plant-based protein shakes - all from a culinary perspective.

With this newfound personal interest and the general trend toward vegan going mainstream, I was most certainly up for the task: to create a plant-based version of chicken broth that would appeal to vegan and non-vegan customers alike.

What does chicken broth without the chicken look like? Great question! As I set out to discover this for my team, my biggest challenge was to create a broth that tasted meaty without any of the off notes that alternate proteins can bring to the table. With flavor solutions from Brand Aromatics, I was able to improve the overall flavor, while masking anything that didn’t simultaneously improve taste.

I collaborated and shared learnings throughout the project with other McCormick Product Developers also working on plant-based flavor solutions. We leveraged our proprietary reaction flavor technology and explored different vegetable concentrates, yeast extracts, umami flavors and more. The unique combination of these ingredients allowed us to create a multi-dimensional profile.  With layers of flavor like roasted, fried, meaty and umami, the resulting product tastes just like chicken!

A great application for this broth is a vegan soup which includes soy-based chicken strips, egg-free noodles and vegetables. Utilizing the same process, I can create no chicken chicken flavors perfect for plant-based chicken products (breaded and non-breaded), dumpling or ravioli fillings, gravies, meatless balls, taco crumbles, sauces and so much more. Anywhere chicken is enjoyed, this is a fully flavored alternative!

Feeling inspired? To ensure your plant-based solutions deliver a meaty profile, get in touch with McCormick today.