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Plant-based foods heading mainstream

Source:FoodPacific Manufacturing Journa     Date:2021-02-08
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THE SUCCESS of plant-based food and beverage is built on taste. True enough several new product releases containing plant-based protein ingredients are getting better organoleptically. In the coming years, the number of NPDs will soar even more in Asia Pacific as the food and feed sectors contribute to the growth in a major way.


In our interview with Michelle Lee, Regional Marketing Director, Food and Beverage, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, she said: “There is a global shift from animal protein to plant-based proteins for a variety of reasons including lifestyle, health, nutrition, and environment – all driven by the evolving consumer landscape and lifestyles.


“Research shows that consumers of all ages want to include more plants in what they eat and drink. These consumers are gravitating towards a plant-based diet and in turn, forming a consumer group sometimes referred to as flexitarians.


“Asia Pacific shows a huge potential, for example, plant-based meat alternative is predicted to account for more than 10% meat products in the next decade. This translates into a USD140 billion market potential for the plant-based meat alternative segment.


“Furthermore, besides an increase in disposable income amongst Asian Millennials, by 2025, it is predicted that 50% of flexitarians will come from Asia Pacific. This presents an opportunity to further innovate in plant-based food and beverage to meet consumer demand and needs.”


DuPont addresses needs of mass market consumer

In the later part of 2020, DuPont launched Danisco PlanitTM, which well equips the company to support and co-create with manufacturers of plant-based food and beverage.  PlanitTM comprises the company’s services, expertise, and ingredient portfolio that includes plant proteins, hydrocolloids, cultures, probiotics, fibres, food protection, antioxidants, natural extracts, emulsifiers, and enzymes, as well as tailor-made systems.


Birgitte Borch, VP of Marketing, Food & Beverage, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, said: “The market innovation for products that allow consumers to eat a burger without eating meat, drink a milkshake without drinking milk, have been impressive. For the mass market consumer however, we want to do more. Mainstream consumers are not only looking to avoid meat or dairy, they are looking for a great eating experience. In order to take plant-based mainstream, we need to expand innovation beyond imitation. We want to support the shift to a more plant-based diet by creating multiple options, thereby enabling nutritious, plant-based food and beverages in every meal, every day—from early-bird breakfast to the midnight snack.”


Ingredion’s capability reinforced by Verdient acquisition

Poised to meet growth in the Asia Pacific, Ingredion has strengthened its capability in plant-based after fully acquiring Verdient Foods in late 2020. From its Canada-based facilities, Ingredion will soon produce specialty pulse-based concentrates and flours from peas, lentils and faba beans, for global markets.


During the announcement, Ingredion’s senior vice president and president, Asia-Pacific, Valdirene Licht, said: “In Asia-Pacific, we are seeing the plant-based trend starting to go from niche to mainstream. Our recent proprietary consumer research indicates that one-third of the population in the region is already adopting a meat minimising diet. From this strategic investment in Verdient, our region will benefit from large-scale plant-based protein supply and continued innovation to accelerate our presence in the region.”


Eric Weisser, Ingredion’s senior director, growth platforms and marketing, Asia-Pacific said, “With more and more food and beverage segments now keen on plant-based alternatives, having a breadth of plant-based protein ingredients bolsters our formulation capabilities to resolve the challenges our customers face when replicating the functionality of the proteins.”


Firmenich: Grilled beef flavour created using artificial intelligence

A light grilled beef taste for use in plant-based meat alternatives has been developed by Firmenich with the aid of artificial intelligence (AI). A key milestone in the company’s digital transformation across its value chain, this breakthrough in collaboration with Microsoft, provides customers with uniquely tailored taste and nutrition solutions, with speed-to-market.


“The COVID-19 crisis has changed the food innovation landscape as well as the consumer marketplace. We must understand and respond to these rapidly-evolving needs with more creativity at an even faster pace. Whether through offering moments of comfort and delight or addressing the larger shift towards healthier food & beverages,” says Emmanuel Butstraen, president, Firmenich Flavors. “The exciting addition of AI allows us to better leverage different raw materials and explore new creative leads. Taking into account specific product parameters such as 100% natural ingredients and regulatory requirements, the technology enhances our flavourists’ capability to create superior taste solutions and accelerate our product development.”


BENEO ingredient for meaty texture

The mass take-up of meat substitutes is still hindered by consumer perceptions surrounding the bland taste and the growing cost of meat alternatives, according to BENEO. The company’s high quality plant protein ingredient tends to change address this. BeneoPro W-Tex is a textured wheat protein with a neutral taste, that in combination with other technical benefits, enables the creation of meat-free products with a stable texture and fibrous structure.


BeneoPro W-Tex is made from wheat gluten and flour, and has a protein content amounts to a minimum of 65% on a dry matter basis. This ingredient has an alveolar structure that allows the development of meat-like juicy texture. It takes only 15 minutes to obtain maximum hydration capacity, eradicating the need for long soaking and making it convenient for production. In combination with its good compaction ability, BeneoPro W-Tex can achieve excellent shaping in products, without the need for additional other ingredients.  


*  “Plant-based Protein Market by Source (Soy, Wheat, and Pea), Type (Isolates, Concentrates, and Textured), Form (Dry and Liquid), Application (Food and Feed), and Region (North America, Europe, APAC, South America, RoW) - Global Forecast to 2025”


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