25 Aug Biospringer, an active partner in the plant-based food Flavor and Texture consortium led by NIZO food research
Biospringer by Lesaffre is a member of a consortium comprising research organizations and companies from across the food production chain, whose goal is to understand and resolve taste and texture issues related to plant-based foods.
The Flavor and Texture consortium partners are Biospringer by Lesaffre, Danone, Brabender, Bunge, Edlong Flavors, Ebro Ingredients, Ruitenberg Ingredients, HAS Green Academy and NIZO. NIZO coordinates this consortium, which is supported by the Dutch government’s Topsector Agri & Food initiative (TKI).
Why Biospringer by Lesaffre joined the plant analog consortium?
Improving taste in plant-based alternatives was identified by Biospringer by Lesaffre as a key innovation challenge. Between 38 and 47 % of consumer respondents1 consider ‘flavor’ of utmost importance when buying non-dairy milk or meat substitutes. We are currently working on new products to address this challenge. We have already developed Springer® Mask 101, a taste modulator that masks unwanted flavors.
The NIZO consortium is a real opportunity to drive collaboration between several partners from across the whole value chain in the meat and dairy alternative industry, including plant protein, equipment and taste ingredient suppliers and food processors, as well as research organisations and universities. This collaborative project helps us to drive innovation at pace and find solutions to address highly technical challenges in a complex market.
The importance of Flavor and Sensory expertise
Antoine Thomas, R&D Sensory and Flavor Development Manager at Biospringer by Lesaffre, provides sensory expertise: “I am really pleased to be part of this collaborative research project. My role is to bring to the consortium my knowledge on yeast products, their composition and their properties in order to facilitate the decision-making process and provide efficient solutions during the main steps of the project. I am particularly involved in topics such as the characterization of off-flavors, key aroma molecules, masking solutions and sensory evaluation methodologies.”
Yeast ingredient experts at work
Biospringer by Lesaffre draw on the skills of a number of innovation, sensory and culinary experts to harness the full potential of this collaboration. We have already shared many experiences with other players and have considered their challenges and suggestions. The possibility to participate actively by providing in-kind support was also an opportunity to lend our in-house expertise on peptide quantification.
Finding the right moment to add the yeast ingredient
Francisco Andre, Global Food Application Manager at Biospringer by Lesaffre, oversees the formulation areas
“My role was to provide dosage recommendations for our products to be used in food and beverage formulations, put forward hypotheses we wanted to validate with the trials and suggest a trial plan for different categories of applications. This was also a good opportunity to advise on which processing steps to consider for meat or dairy analogues and the right moment to add the taste ingredients to meet expected performance criteria.”
A cutting-edge experience for our innovative pipeline
“We usually partner with clients to create new, natural ingredients that make food tastier. This is the first time that we join a consortium where we have the opportunity to work with several players from the plant-based-alternative value chain to gain more technical knowledge and understanding of that particular industry.”
Anne-Lise Schelfhout, Innovation & Market Study Manager at Biospringer by Lesaffre.
“Research consortia are an integral part of our R&D and innovation strategy. They allow us to combine the strengths of several key industry players and research organizations, share resources and expert advice and make progress on research topics that are particularly complex to manage on our own. It’s a true collaborative force that can lead to great success!”
Antoine Thomas, R&D Sensory and Flavor Development Manager at Biospringer by Lesaffre
A consortium of research and industrial partners to innovate in plant-based applications
The consortium helps us to understand the origin of common sensory defects and reduce them by exploring food-processing technologies and formulations in which our solutions can be used. Several plant-based applications (burger patties, high-protein beverages and block-style cheese) and protein ingredients (pea, faba and soy-based at different purity levels) are studied to determine the types of off-notes in final products found in the market in addition to their technical complexity.
Reduce the presence of sensory defects in plant-based meat and dairy alternatives
“I hope and believe that we will better understand the off-notes of soy, pea and fava bean proteins in order to reduce the presence of sensory defects in plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, either through food-processing technologies or flavor-masking solutions (like bitter-blockers). This knowledge will allow us to develop new tools for our customers to improve the flavor and texture of tomorrow’s plant-based products.”
Antoine Thomas, R&D Sensory and Flavour Development Manager at Biospringer by Lesaffre.
Biospringer by Lesaffre‘s objectives are to conduct a detailed assessment of the impact of yeast-based ingredients in these food matrices and to understand to what extent the process has a positive or negative impact on off-notes and taste. The results will provide us with key information that outline the benefits of using our yeast based products from natural origin and that we can share with our customers.
Meeting everyone’s expectations is quite a challenge!
“We are facing several challenges in formulation for food and beverages: different sources and the protein level in ingredients will result in different off-notes, which is why it is often difficult to correlate composition with sensory attributes. There are also many formulation options and processing steps to choose from, so selecting only a few to achieve a feasible number of trials was a difficult task too. Plus we had to work with the products and equipment of all the partners involved in the project and meet everyone’s expectations.” Francisco Andre, Global Food Application Manager at Biospringer by Lesaffre.
Enhancing the ability of yeast ingredients to inhibit undesired flavors
Biospringer by Lesaffre’s food technologists experts will particularly focus on testing Springer® Mask 101, a solution developed to mask off-flavors such as bitter taste, but also beany and earthy notes in plant-based applications. This is a major challenge for food manufacturers in the vegan and vegetarian segments.
The project started in 2021, first with a learning objective in mind
“We invest our knowledge and expertise, so we need to closely follow-up with our teams internally. We must keep our objectives in mind while maintaining agility. Aside from providing input at meetings, we would like to put all this knowledge to use in our current innovation projects. Plus, it is a great opportunity to collaborate with other partners!” Anne-Lise Schelfhout, Innovation & Market Study Manager at Biospringer by Lesaffre.
“We are hoping to learn how much individual ingredients in the formulations and processing conditions contribute to off-flavors, where those off-notes come from and how we can adjust the processing steps to reduce them. Also, is protein extrusion contributing positively or negatively to the final taste of the ingredient and having an impact on taste in the final application?
Lastly, it also allows us to validate the performance of yeast ingredients with masking ability and confirm consumer acceptance and preferences for the different products available.” Francisco Andre, Global Food Application Manager at Biospringer by Lesaffre.
The consortium is currently developing and testing different mitigation strategies that could be applied during the production of end products. The results from this consortium will improve the eating experience for plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, which are expected in the coming months.
Sources: 1 Innova source, 2023