Very often we hear from liquid mustard manufacturers that they are experiencing fluctuations in the flavour and/or heat level of their finished products. More often than not, the fault lies in the method of preparation. Below you will find the correct way to work with mustard in order to minimize flavour variation and maximize shelf life.
Always mix dry mustard powders with water, at room temperature, to a thick paste. Let sit for 10 minutes, allowing full heat and flavour development. This step is critical to ensure that the flavour and heat desired is developed completely.
One exception to the rule:
In the manufacture of a typical “Hot Dog” style mustard, the preparation of a mustard paste (Step 1) is typically ignored. The whole, crushed or ground seed is added directly to a vinegar brine, then processed.
Add salt and/or vinegar to this paste, mixing well. This will ensure that the heat and flavour developed in step 1 above is preserved. By adding the acid or salt too soon, you risk de-stabilizing the system, causing possible off-flavours (bitterness) or premature loss of heat.
Add all remaining ingredients and homogenize. If possible, remove all air from the product to help minimize colour changes. It is assumed that any off-flavours which might develop are masked by the high levels of vinegar used in the manufacture of this product. It should also be remembered that this style of mustard is manufactured from only yellow seed, which does not contain the volatile heat associated with most mustard flours, and whose heat quickly dissipates even under correct processing conditions.
Finally, during development of liquid mustards, we recommend that all mustard should “age” for a period of 2-4 weeks before evaluating for taste, flavour and aroma.