Hydrosol sets up Competence Centre for plant-based products

Responding to the demand for plant-based alternatives, Hydrosol has created a Plant-based Competence Center as a place to combine all its industry knowledge in one “creative pool”.

At the site, product managers, nutritionists, food technologists and marketing specialists develop creative concepts to address the trends in international markets.

“In our stabilising and texturing system concepts we have long combined market trend knowledge with scientific and technological understanding. Our new Plant-based Competence Center is a seedbed for innovative food concepts with high future potential, as well as a dialogue platform for our customers,” said Hydrosol managing director Matthias Moser.

The choice of plant proteins is very important in meeting the expectations of consumers, as Dorotea Pein, director of product management at Hydrosol, said: “A detailed knowledge of the available protein sources is essential. Not only are more and more vegan foods available, there is a wider range of plant proteins to choose from. In addition to soy there is now also a multitude of other options, from familiar sources like peas, rice and coconut to newcomers like sunflowers and rapeseed. But not every protein is suited to every application.”

When characterising a new protein, Hydrosol first tests its sensory and rheological properties. Other criteria are the microbiological count, allergenic potential, compliance with hygienic standards and certified processes, as well as price and availability. If the protein meets all these criteria, it goes into testing.

“We’ve done hundreds of application tests and have built up a solid and growing database on the characteristics of different proteins. This wealth of experience is the foundation of our new Plant-based Competence Center,” said Pein.

“There, we advise customers on the ideal choice of proteins, and also on trends, flavouring and nutritional enrichment. We work closely with our sister companies, in order to supply stabilisation and texturing while also addressing other aspects like the ideal micronutrient profile and trending flavour combinations. Our goal is not just to give our customers ideas for plant-based alternative products, but to deliver concepts with added value.”

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