Typically comprising a blend of spices and high levels of free amino acids which trigger a similar pattern of taste receptors as real meat, artificial meat flavor is used as an inexpensive, consistent method of reproducing and enhancing meat flavor.
Artificial meat flavors can be derived from animal and plant origins, as both are sources of the proteins which may be hydrolyzed to release free amino acids, such as glutamate and glutamic acid, that characterize the savory umami taste. While hydrolyzed protein is not the same as monosodium glutamate, it is commonly used in conjunction with MSG and individuals with known sensitivity to MSG and high glutamate levels should take note.
Vegan and vegetarians should note that artificial meat flavors are not necessarily suited to their diets.
Stuffing, lunch meats, soups, chills, sauces
Artificial meat flavor