Wixon, a manufacturer providing seasoning blends, flavors and flavor technologies to food, beverage and nutritional companies across all retail and foodservice channels, reports a burgeoning interest in Japanese cuisine in the United States. Not only have 41 percent of US consumers eaten Japanese cuisine at home or away from home, but 45 percent are also interested in eating it from a restaurant or retail store, according to Mintel.

This was the catalyst for the latest Wixon Innovates flavor development research. Taking key flavors – such as shoyu, yuzu and togarashi – found commonly in Japanese cuisine, the company’s taste experts created a diverse range of complex flavor systems that can be used in food and beverage applications.

“Interest in Japanese cuisine and flavors has really taken hold among U.S. consumers in the past few years,” says Wixon marketing manager Rachael Jarzembowski. “Sushi and ramen were the gateway for diners, especially younger ones, but now there’s a desire to explore beyond these dishes.”

Among the Japanese-inspired flavor systems the company is offering:

  • Umeboshi Coconut                                       
  • Salted Caramel Miso
  • Smoky Shoyu Caramel                                 
  • Japanese Whiskey Shoyu
  • Smoky Tonkatsu                                            
  • Garlic Togarashi
  • Yuzu Hojicha                                                   
  • Japanese Curry
  • Sudachi Kosho                                            
  • Pickled Ginger

“Umami may be the most recently identified of our five basic tastes, but it has ancient roots in Asian cuisines, Japanese in particular,” says Wixon corporate chef Ryan Kukuruzovic. “The savory, umami notes in traditional Japanese fermented foods like miso and shoyu are incredible as the basis for culinary flavor development. We also found the rich diversity of ingredients and preparation techniques in Japanese cuisine inspiring, as we reimagined them as crave-able flavor systems.”