Aromat is the brand name of a mass-produced general-purpose seasoning produced in Switzerland and South Africa under the brand name Knorr, which is owned by the Unilever group. Packaging is generally a red plastic bottle with a yellow label bearing its name in green lettering, but it is also now sold in yellow bottles. It is marketed predominantly in Europe and in South Africa, although is also known to be marketed in Australia, Hong Kong and parts of the Middle East.
Aromat was introduced in 1953 as a 'seasoning mix'. With the introduction of the new seasoning, came new flavours of soups and sauces predominantly featuring the seasoning.
Cultural significance in South Africa
As a popular seasoning in South Africa, it is frequently featured as a key ingredient of fair food and home cooking. As a fair food, it is among the most popular flavours of potato spirals, typically featured alongside other flavours such as peri peri. South African's are known to put it on everything that they cook.
Care should be taken in the consumption of Aromat by those with specific dietary requirements, as the ingredients vary according to the region in which the product was manufactured and sold. The base ingredients often differ, notably the use of maize in one market, wheat in another and cornflour in others, leading in part to widely differing perceptions of Aromat's effect on meals that use it in their preparation.
Aromat sold in South Africa and surrounding regions is typically produced in South Africa by Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd and sold in 75g containers. It is marked as being halal and contains the following ingredients:
Salt, modified maizeflour, flavour enhancer (monosodium glutamate), yeast extract, partially hydrogenated vegetable fat (palm fruit, contains antioxidant TBHQ), anticaking agent (E551), flavour enhancer (E631, E627), mushroom flakes, dehydrated onion, radurised spices (cloves, turmeric, celery), radurised bay leaves, garlic powder, flavourant (onion)
The ingredients sometimes are specified as including as minor ingredients:
Additionally production may have taken place in a factory processing wheat gluten, cow's milk, eggs and soya.
Aromat sold to consumers in European markets in 90g containers is generally produced in Europe and contains the following ingredients:
Aromat sold into trade supplies in multiples of 2.25kg is often constituted quite differently to the consumer versions, for example:
Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Cornflour, Lactose (Milk Derivative), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein,Onion, PalmOlein, Silicon Dioxide, Spices, Sodium Inosinate and Guanylate, Celery Seed
Typically it is marketed exclusively at chefs.