13 Nov The flavorful challenge of plant-based food and beverages
Consumer expectations are moving toward a profound change in eating habits whether in the sense of a more responsible consumption for their health or for the planet. More and more people are reducing or eliminating the consumption of animal products and turning to other sources of protein. At the same time, official nutritional recommendations are evolving with specific guidelines: Canada is pushing for the choice of vegetables instead of animal proteins and France imposes weekly vegetarian meals in schools.
Vegetable proteins represent an alternative to those of animal origin. For the food industry, it is an opportunity for innovation, and new challenges to tackle, in particular to maintain the good taste of their recipes.
It’s undeniable, people are going green
Vegetarianism and veganism are without a doubt increasing globally: 2% of consumers are vegan, while 5% are vegetarians (1). In the U.S., there has been a 600% increase in people identified as vegans in the last three years (2)! The rise of ‘flexitarians’ is powering plant-based products. Nearly 8 out of 10 U.S. millennials eat meat alternatives, compared to 5 out of 10 non-millennials (3). As a result, there is an explosion in the demand for vegetable proteins. In fact, plant protein consumption is globally estimated to grow by 12.5% between 2010 and 2030 (4).
Multiple factors play a role in the purchase of plant alternatives. Taste is, for 68% of respondents, the main important factor for plant-based dairy and meat purchases, before price or health for 41 % them. Then come the well-being and ease of cooking of these products (5).
Vegetable proteins, a juicy market
The plant proteins market is booming. The global market topped 36.5 billion USD over 2018 and should reach 46.4 billion USD by 2023 (6). Main plant proteins in this market are soy, pea and wheat. While vegan or vegetarian products represent only a small portion of the population, flexitarianism is driving the market. The global meat substitutes market is estimated at 13.3 billion USD in 2018 with a projected 7.9% CAGR for 2019-2024 (7) while dairy alternatives were worth 17.3 billion USD in 2018, and projected to 29.6 billion USD in 2023 (8).
By offering alternatives to animal proteins, the industry can reach new populations such as senior, children and sports people. In addition to offering new opportunities for product development, these proteins are nutritionally rich and have interesting technical properties.
What consequences for formulation with plant-based proteins?
The manufacturers’ major challenge is to meet consumers’ expectations while maintaining the taste, texture and overall appearance of the products they are used to.
“The Impossible Burger” launched by Impossible Foods is a good example of a tasty success story. It contains yeast extract to readjust its formula while giving it taste.
Springer® Mask 101 is an ingredient of choice for the world of vegetable proteins
Springer® Mask 101 is a yeast-based flavor by Biospringer. This new ingredient neutralizes beany or earthy off-notes brought by vegetable proteins. It is an ideal solution for manufacturers that allows:
- To develop flavorful plant-based foods without adding any taste
- To formulate with an easy-to-use naturalix solution produced by fermentation
- Not to change texture and general appearance of the product
Using Springer® portfolio makes plant-based foods taste better
In terms of taste, yeast ingredients comply with the expectations of vegan, vegetarian and other flexitarian consumers.
Biospringer offers yeast extract-based ingredients which are 100% animal-free, covering a large spectrum of flavors from vegetable to meaty (chicken, beef, gravy, roasted, grilled and smoked meat) and cheesy. Therefore, food formulators will find extensive solutions to the development of plant-based food products.