Tetra Pak’s whole processing method boosts nutritional content and removes waste

Tetra Pak has developed a processing method for soya drinks, which utilises the entire soya bean in production.

The resulting product is composed of 1.2% fibre, compared to 0.26%, for traditional, extracted soya bean drinks and will help meet increased consumer demand for healthy, immunity-boosting products.

Plant-based beverages are a rapidly growing category in the USA and Europe and have been identified as a popular choice for consumers seeking a healthy option or broader variety. However, further innovation is required in the industry to meet these evolving consumer trends.

Tetra Pak said its new technology reduces waste and increases the fibre and protein content of the beverage by incorporating the fibre component of the soybean, okara, into the final beverage.

The company experimented with different grinding solutions, reducing okara particles so they can be integrated into the final product without impacting taste or texture and produce a versatile, high-fibre beverage. This solution has a shelf-life stability of six to twelve months without stabilisers or emulsifiers, making it a clean label product.

Hemang Dholakia, Centre of Expertise manager in plant based processing solutions and equipment, Tetra Pak said the company’s combination of processing know-how, technological advancements and experience working with a variety of soy-based solutions, made the decision to launch a new, commercially viable soya drink solution an easy one.

“Diversifying product range and boosting nutritional value with ‘whole soya’ products will help food and drink manufacturers reach new consumers in an increasingly competitive market,” Dholakia added.

The whole soya line was co-created with customers at Tetra Pak’s product development centre in Shanghai, producing a high-fibre product with no added sugar, creamy taste and texture, and a desirable smooth mouthfeel. Since then, more customers in Asia have added whole soya beverages as premium products complementing existing traditional soya beverages in their portfolio.

This innovation paves the way for a multitude of new products using the same method, presenting a commercial opportunity for yogurt, spreads, ice cream and meal replacements. The launch forms part of the company’s drive to build an innovation ecosystem that helps open new opportunities in the areas of food safety and availability with the aim of developing more sustainable and resilient food systems.

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