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Innovation beyond imitation in plant-based foods

Source:FoodPacific ManufacturingJournal     Date:2020-11-19
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WITH the Danisco PlanitTM brand unveiled this year, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences can provide extensive support to manufacturers developing plant-based food and beverages.

In plant-based products, as in all food categories, taste and texture are imperative. However, in plant-based there are a variety of protein sources, and when combined with consumer requirements for health and nutrition, designing and formulating new formats that are top-performing in all sensory dimensions is a challenge. A great tasting product isn’t just about flavour, but the interactivity among sight, smell, touch and sound. Sensory expertise is at the centre of new product development for plant-based food and beverages.


With its diverse portfolio, DuPont is working with F&B manufacturers in developing plant-based products that suit different tastes.(Photo courtesy of DuPont)

Danisco PlanitTM has been launched globally and covers services, know-how, and an unmatched ingredient portfolio for plant-based food and beverages: plant proteins, hydrocolloids, cultures, probiotics, fibres, food protection, antioxidants, natural extracts, emulsifiers, and enzymes, as well as tailor-made systems.

In this interview, Michelle Lee, Regional Marketing Director, Food and Beverage, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences talks further about plant-based food and Danisco PlanitTM.

What does DuPont’s Danisco PlanitTM consist of, and how does this new range help manufacturers create better plant-based products?  

Danisco Planit™ marks the latest evolution in DuPont’s plant-based ingredient portfolio which includes a comprehensive range of functional ingredients and application expertise for food and beverages made with a ‘planet forward,’ sustainable approach.

With the launch of a new brand designed for co-creation of plant-based beverages, dairy alternatives, meat, fish, and seafood, we are looking to enable the transformation of global eating habits, taking innovation beyond imitation. Ultimately, together with food manufacturers we look to commercialise plant-based food and beverages that are not only delicious but suitable for everyday local diets.

Manufacturers are also supported by a global network of manufacturing and application expertise, regulatory support, sensory capabilities, deep market and consumer insights to design products for the future, to be ahead of the curve.

Are Asian manufacturers eager to formulate their own plant-based foods, and what food types are they looking to develop?

Asia has a rich and diverse food culture; leaving consumers spoilt for choice with the wide array of cuisines available. Where plant-based food and beverages are concerned, manufacturers are therefore keen to develop and offer food and beverages that consumers are already familiar with.

Localisation and providing plant-based choices that fit into consumers’ daily dietary habits is important for product success in the marketplace. When it comes to food consumption, it not only has to meet their nutritional needs but also to fulfil their senses such as smell and taste. For example, being able to offer plant-based alternatives on local favourites such as dumplings, buns, meatballs, and luncheon meat, would help consumers make plant-based meals an everyday choice.

Is plant-based food purely made of plant products and to meet the criteria, must not contain any kind of ingredient, derived from animals?

As of today, there are no regulations on plant-based food labelling or definition. However, consumers expect that plant-based food and beverages do not contain traces of animal-based ingredients, especially vegans or vegetarians, who have a stricter diet.

Together with international bodies and industry players, DuPont is currently working with China Food Science and Technology Institute (CIFST) in drafting regulations and standards that define plant-based meat products with no added animal fat and protein.

With Danisco PlanitTM, DuPont also stresses sustainability. Could you tell us more about this?

All around the world, there is a call for a new sustainable food system; a system that can feed the expanding global population while using less energy, less land, less water.

Apart from a growing population, over half the world’s population is middle class, and the numbers continue to increase. This means the number of consumers of varied and nutritious food is increasing and the food industry needs to find a way of feeding more people with the same resources. One solution to this is rebalancing protein intake by shifting some eating occasions from animal protein to plant protein.

The carbon footprint of the protein used is another sustainability issue to address. Without even factoring the food needs of the growing middle class, the food industry has a carbon footprint issue right now. We know that today, consumers are calling for the industry to reduce the carbon footprint of the food and drinks they consume. Here again, plant-based sustainability could provide a solution. Under our integrated offerings and services with Danisco Planit™, our sustainability team can advise food manufacturers on the ingredients and production methods to use for a truly sustainable end- product.

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