The Mushroom Benefit Ltd. startup rolls out its innovative line of Cuisine Bags set to redefine the soups, stock, and sauces retail market. Each mesh sachet (about twice the size of a tea bag) contains a unique blend of exotic mushrooms and natural seasoning and flavors that endow any savory stew, soup, sauce, or marinade with a gourmet touch in a single easy step. The startup will launch the new product line at the Summer Fancy Foods Show, New York at the Javits Center, on June 23-25, booth #3702, adjacent to the entrance to Hall E.
The patent-pending Cuisine Bags offer a plant-based, clean-label alternative to traditional powdered soup stocks. They also make a convenient quick-fix solution for preparing sophisticated cuisine that demands minimal expertise and that can readily conform to the time constraints of modern life, turning home cooking into a gourmet experience in just fifteen minutes of infusion in boiling water.
“As consumers we are exposed daily to a glut of cooking TV shows, chef blogs, and restaurants,” says Mira Weigensberg, CEO and co-founder of The Mushroom Benefit Ltd. and a natural sciences graduate. “Is it any wonder that we all want to cook like chefs and receive compliments from our family and friends, as well as benefitting from all the health advantages of using natural ingredients and herbs?”
Each sachet contains a complex balance of mushroom goodness, infusing natural, full-bodied flavors of umami and additional herbs to enrich any home-cooked dish. The Mushroom BenefitTM carefully selected a choice mix of exotic mushrooms, principally shiitake and black truffle, to deliver maximum taste enrichment. The Shiitake mushroom was chosen as a base due to its rich umami characteristic that imparts a meaty, savory sensation to foods.
The rich mushroom flavors in each portion are easily incorporated into any stock. Incorporating food technology and advanced product design, the equivalent of a meal portion of fresh mushrooms is condensed into a small sachet. Immersing just one sachet, directly or after steeping in hot water, yields enough flavor to amply enrich more than a liter of product, which is sufficient for 7-8 servings.
Each Mushroom BenefitTM Cuisine Bag package contains five sachets. The bags themselves are made of 100% natural and wholly biodegradable corn fiber, demonstrating the company’s commitment to careful utilization of natural resources and reducing packaging footprint.
“Preparing a sophisticated and healthy meal requires effort, knowledge, and time spent pre-planning, cutting, soaking, filtering, spicing, and preparing a stock,” adds Tal Leizer, CEO of Practical Innovations Ltd., a key innovation engine behind the development of the Mushroom BenefitTM Cuisine Bag. “That’s too much trouble and time consuming for many of us in a life that is overly crowded with other demands. These small sachets are designed to bring the mushrooms’ essence to the dining table with minimal effort and maximum indulgence.”
According to Weigensberg, health-conscious consumers placing a higher value on more naturally processed, “free-from” food attributes is propelling the abandonment of one of the cornerstones of the traditional kitchen: soup powders and ready-made sauces which often contain MSG, artificial ingredients, and sugars.
“Our product is vegan-friendly, contains zero sugar and sodium, and no added MSG or artificial coloring or flavoring — it only contains natural ingredients,” Weigensberg explains. “Moreover, the mushrooms’ umami factor significantly lowers the need to enhance savory flavor with salt.”
The cuisine bags are available in three flavors: Asian, Italian, and “Classic.” These infusions were formulated to include a blend of herbs such as basil or lemongrass to satisfy both Western and Eastern taste buds, each with its own distinct aromas and flavors.
Launch of The Mushroom BenefitTM Cuisine Bags coincides with a report just released by Innova Market Insights that noted a burgeoning zest amongst consumers for culinary adventure. Consumers are exploring new cultural flavors and seeking multisensory food experiences as more ethnic flavors appear in western snacks and RTE meals. Innova also reports expanding western familiarity with, and perceptions of, umami (coined the “fifth flavor.”) At the same time, consumers in the East are demanding more natural sources of umami.
The Mushroom Benefit Ltd. started as a family run business. Oren Kessler, the company’s R&D VP, together with his lifelong partner, Weigensberg, dedicated their activities to the research, cultivation, and marketing of exotic mushrooms in Israel. Today, the startup focuses on the innovation and development of novel functional food products based on exotic mushrooms and other natural ingredients within the international specialty food marketplace.
“We are ‘The Mushroom People’,” says Kessler. “For many years we have focused on mushrooms and worked tirelessly to introduce these once unfamiliar yet tremendously unique and healthful niche ingredients to the mainstream kitchen.”