Fi Europe Connect 2020: Plant-based 2.0
Nexira's latest innovation, Thixogum G, is a natural high performance stabiliser for plant-based drinks
The start of the Fi Europe Connect virtual trade exhibition (23 November – 4 December) recognised we are in the midst of a plant-based food revolution. Driven by consumer concerns around health, sustainability and animal welfare, plant-based innovation has skyrocketed over the last couple of years, particularly among those wanting to increase their intake of plant-based meals without completely eliminating meat.
Exhibitors in these areas are not in short supply. Plenty are showcasing their momentum in the plant product market. With some of the world’s largest players of traditional meat-based proteins now in the plant protein market, there is a move to bring consumers with manufacturers on this journey. Some examples make the point.
Fish is a highly enjoyable meat and plant-based fish has been identified as the next big thing. To address the challenge of making products look appetising, but taste good as well, GNT Group put forward ideas to meet modern expectations of plant-based fish alternatives delivering sensory appeal while maintaining clean and clear labels.
GNT Group’s activity demonstrates where the market is now and will continue. Aurélien Gilot, key account manager for GNT Group argues that manufacturers can no longer rely on artificial colours to create visual appeal.
The business’s experts have developed solutions that enable manufacturers to deliver uber-realistic colouring solutions in plant-based fish using Exberry. As a result, it’s possible to create products such as salmon steaks with glazing while maintaining clean and clear labels.
ADM has highlighted the plant-based food boom as one of the top 2021 global industry trends, and with that in mind it has revealed that it is developing a plant-based turkey lunch meat. The development also includes the creation of savoury turkey flavoring ingredients for a range of products.
ADM’s new 2021 Food Trend Report shows that plant-based proteins are one of the top five trends that will dominate the food industry next year, and its research indicates that interest in vegan turkey is there. When consumers were asked what meat alternatives they have not yet tried but would like to, 30% of consumers in the United States, 36% of consumers in the United Kingdom, and 46% of consumers in China expressed interest in trying plant-based turkey.
Of course, all things plant-based extends to beverages. Nexira is highlighting its latest innovation Thixogum G, a natural high performance stabiliser for plant-based drinks. Thixogum G is made from the natural emulsifier acacia gum and gellan gum, a natural stabiliser.
The business has taken to the challenge in plant-based drink formulations needing to emulsify and stabilise fat, suspend insoluble particles and build texture and mouthfeel.
Thixogum G can stabilise insoluble ingredients with minimal impact to viscosity. It can be used in beverages made up of insoluble compounds to suspend particles such as in fruit juices to maintain a homogenous suspension.
These examples show how the plant-based market is evolving. The next step will be helping consumers embrace Plant-based 2.0. Companies in the food and beverage sectors have an important role in nudging consumers towards certain behaviours. The language of plant-based foods can make plant based eating and sustainable diets appealing to the target market – people who normally eat meat.
Expect much more innovations in the years to come…
- Rodney Jack, editor, Food & Drink Technology.
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