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Using Nature-Powered Ingredients to Formulate Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

August 3, 2022
Plant-Based Alternative Statistics

The global market for burger and sausage alternatives has been experiencing tremendous growth – and is still expected to climb as more flexitarians embrace plant-based protein. However, CP Kelco has identified two trends that could impact success:

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  1. No Compromise. Consumers have high expectations. While consumers are willing to try new things, they expect the products they purchase to meet their taste and texture standards as well as have high quality ingredients at a reasonable price. In a 2021 Innova Market Insights survey, consumers were asked “what reasons would keep you from buying plant-based alternatives?” 32% answered, “Poor taste and texture.” Also of note, 19% cited concerns that it was “too processed/artificial ingredients.”

  2. Good for You, Good for the Planet Too. According to Innova Market Insights, consumers buy plant-based alternatives because they believe the products are “healthier.”

With these trends in mind, CP Kelco developed a nature-based portfolio of ingredient solutions to help formulators 

  • Support clean label-friendly formulations
  • Provide a more recognizable ingredient list (that may help brands gain market share)
  • Deliver an optimal, meat-like eating experience for consumers
  • Provide flexibility for easier processing

Meeting a Range of Formulation Needs

GENU® Texturizer MA-1 is a dual-function solution comprised of methylcellulose and carrageenan. It is a highly effective and well-known gel at hot temperature. It provides cohesiveness and the addition of cold bite for easier cutting ability under cool conditions. For example, this would give manufacturers the opportunity to expand into sausage alternatives that can be enjoyed on a charcuterie board under cool conditions. It can be used with current equipment for ease and is less sticky than methylcellulose alone.

For those looking for an alternative to methylcellulose, CP Kelco offers KELCOGEL® MA-60 Gellan Gum. A soluble fiber produced by fermentation, this multifunctional ingredient provides hot bite and a meat-like texture. It is extremely easy to use with improved dough rheology. Of course, gellan gum is already known as a go-to ingredient for solving plant-based protein challenges.

For extra juiciness during the eating experience, GENU® Pectin MA-50 can be used in combination with KELCOGEL® MA-60 Gellan Gum. This clean label-friendly ingredient is sourced from citrus peels, a byproduct of the juice industry. When used with gellan gum, it delivers an optimal hot bite for a complete methylcellulose alternative solution.

NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber boost is a clean label-friendly and easily recognizable food ingredient that can enable starch substitution and stabilize emulsions. A fiber ingredient, it is made from sustainably sourced citrus peels, an abundant byproduct of the juice industry. NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber boost supports dietary fiber intake and provides unique water holding capacity to increase cooking yield and juiciness. It supports meat-like texture for plant-based meat alternatives that appeal to the senses. Labeled as ‘citrus fiber,’ it also does not require an E number in Europe.

For tips and recipe cards to inspire your plant-based formulations, contact us here.