FI “Plant-based Innovation Award” won by Hifood and Alianza

Hifood together with Alianza Team Europe have been named as the winners of the Fi “Plant-based Innovation Award” at the Food Ingredients Europe 2023 exhibition for MirrorTissue, Alianza Team’s all-plant-based fatty lipid solution further enhanced with Hifood’s proprietary proteins, plant fibres and technologies.

Hifood is a CSM Ingredients company specialised in the research, development, and production of natural ingredients.

The two companies recently announced their business relationship aimed at developing high-value, clean-label emulsions (with 10% more natural ingredients than the regular MirrorTissue product)  to improve the taste and texture of plant-based products.

“It is a real honour to have won the Fi Innovation Award, not only because it demonstrates the revolutionary potential of the MirrorTissue solution but also because it highlights the role of strategic business relationships in achieving significant milestones.” Aldo Uva, CEO of CSM Ingredients, commented. “I have always been a strong supporter of collaborations between companies because they allow us to combine forces and generate innovations with a significant positive impact on both the environment and people’s wellbeing. New fats, in particular, are among the most interesting areas of research and development, with the potential to significantly evolve the food industry. I am convinced that this is just the beginning of a fruitful and lasting business relationship with Alianza Team, which will soon extend to other important areas.”

“Receiving the Fi Innovation Award alongside Hifood reflects the remarkable outcomes achievable through collaborative efforts. It emphasises the strength that emerges when two companies align.” Jesus Jaimes, vice president of team solutions (a business unit of Alianza Team), commented. ”Our shared commitment to advancing plant-based solutions transcends the culinary realm, contributing to the preservation of our environment and the well-being of humanity. The award recognizes the transformative influence of groundbreaking fats and lipids, highlighting their pivotal role in ensuring an unparalleled commitment to taste excellence.”

The advanced version of MirrorTissue, winner of the Innovation Award, is a concrete demonstration of what can be achieved through collaborative efforts. Born from Alianza Team’s solution based on entirely plant-based lipid fats developed to mimic the functional, structural, and sensory attributes provided by animal fats, the advanced version of MirrorTissue was further enhanced through Hifood’s proprietary technology, based on allergen-free plant proteins – one of the main ingredients of the emulsion – and soluble plant fibre obtained from oilseeds, which stabilises this emulsion. The result of this combination is a clean-label, allergen-free vegetable fat that does not use tropical oils.

This version of MirrorTissue was specifically developed in response to a challenge in the plant-based meat alternatives industry, which traditionally relied on tropical fats (such as coconut and palm fat) to give the finished products a satisfying appearance, texture, and taste. However, this type of fat tends to melt and leak almost entirely from the products during cooking, affecting tenderness and juiciness.

Moreover, the high content of saturated fats may prevent them from being considered an optimal choice from a nutritional standpoint. Protein emulsions emerged as a potential solution to this challenge, but they often include unwanted ingredients such as monoglycerides, chemically modified cellulose, gums, soy proteins (which contain allergens), or other additives. Hifood and Alianza Team Europe thus joined forces to develop clean-label, allergen-free emulsions using local oils and fats to help solve this issue.

The new version of MirrorTissue provides key sensory attributes such as a pleasant appearance, juiciness, and texture, making it a highly versatile and easily customisable product for various plant-based applications, from sausages and meatballs to burgers, kebabs, savoury fillings, and ready-to-eat dishes.

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