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Sustainability and health concerns are driving consumers to plant-based meat alternatives, but the taste experience of these products continues to fall short, according to research by Kerry. In 2022, Kerry conducted research with over 1,500 consumers across four countries—the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Brazil—to uncover sensory expectations around plant-based burgers and cheese alternative slices.
The research found that flexitarians, the key consumer group driving the growth of plant-based products, are more critical of products than vegan and vegetarian consumers. While sustainability is a top purchase driver, consumers are unwilling to compromise on taste and seek products that are as close to the taste experience of animal products as possible.
Although beef is the benchmark, consumer expectations for plant-based burgers go beyond just the taste experience and are, in fact, higher for plant-based offerings. Consumers want products with improved succulence and a “bite” that feels as close to meat as possible. They also seek cooking cues such as charring, which signal that a burger is perfectly cooked and safe to eat, and they want meat alternatives with improved nutrition.
The findings are contained in a series of e-books published by Kerry, which contain actionable opportunities for the industry to address consumers’ current expectations and future unmet needs.
Tereos launched Ensemble, a new range of plant-based protein products, consisting of five main ingredients (wheat, chickpeas, sunflower oil, fiber, and vegetable stock) that are high in protein, a good source of fiber, and low in saturated fat. Ensemble offers clean, simple, sustainable, and versatile plant-based meals for institutional and commercial catering, retail distribution, and the food processing industry. Ensemble products provide a meat-free meal solution and are available in original version or chicken flavor.
Gold Coast Ingredients released innovative, refreshing flavors for summer: Guava Margarita (nonalcoholic), Pineapple Whip, Yuzu Passion Fruit, Strawberry White Peach, Cranberry Ginger, Cucumber Lime With Mint, Blueberry Basil, Watermelon Lemonade, Clementine, and Apple Pear. Gold Coast’s array of natural flavors can be made in powder and liquid forms. These refreshing flavor profiles are versatile, complementing beverages, syrups, flavored waters, hard seltzers, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sauces, candy, baked goods, snack foods, and more.
Oregon Fruit Products announced a line of certified organic aseptically processed fruit purees for the food and beverage manufacturing markets. The new line aims to help manufacturers meet growing consumer demand for organic products across all areas of food and beverage, including kombucha and other ready-to-drink beverages, baked goods, yogurts, and more. The organic line consists of the following aseptically processed fruit purees: Organic Red Raspberry Puree—Seedless, Organic Sweet Cherry Puree, Organic Blueberry Puree—Seedless, and Organic Strawberry Puree—Seedless.
Walki introduced a broad portfolio of recyclable materials for the growing frozen food segment. Walki EVO Seal and Walki Opti Seal are recyclable paper-based packaging intended especially for pillow pouches for frozen food. Walki EVO Seal has a dispersion coating as a barrier against water vapor and grease, while Walki Opti Seal has an optimized PE-extrusion coating. Lamibel MDO-PE is a film-based material for pillow pouches made of reverse-printed MDO film and is solvent-free laminated with low-sealing LDPE. Walki Pack Tray is a board-based tray suitable for frozen ready-made meals, designed to replace aluminum, plastic, or plastic-coated trays. The tray material is 100% PET free and recyclable in the paper stream.
Symrise launched a new range of aronia health actives: an aronia extract and aronia juice powder, both standardized in polyphenols and anthocyanins. The company has filed a patent application for the aronia extract, which has a unique polyphenol profile in addition to strong multiple cellular antioxidant effects.
Roquette launched a new NUTRALYS organic range of texturized pea and fava proteins for European markets. The 11 grades of textured proteins offer a wide array of shapes and textures with a neutral taste and clean label, allowing for a variety of applications in meat and fish alternatives. This new range is adapted to a variety of local cuisines: plant-based Bolognese, curry dishes, kebabs, and more.
Imagindairy, a developer of animal-free milk proteins, secured an additional $15 million in its extended seed round, bringing total investment capital to $28 million and making it one of the highest-earning seed rounds in the alternative protein space. In its mission to provide consumers sustainable, better-for-you, guilt-free dairy solutions, the alt-protein innovators found a way to create animal-free milk proteins from micro-organisms via proprietary precision fermentation technology. The technology allows the production of a broad spectrum of dairy analogues, from raw milk to cheese, without involving animals.
Bell completed an audit on its expanded range of USDA-certified organic flavors at its Northbrook, Ill., location in partnership with Quality Assurance International. This annual assessment of Bell’s organic flavor line is critical within the industry.
Givaudan announced the development of Customer Foresight aimed to help customers co-create winning food solutions. The Customer Foresight futurescaping platform will leverage big data, artificial intelligence technology, and Givaudan’s deep expertise to co-create food experiences with customers and meet consumers’ ever-changing needs. At the heart of Customer Foresight is a proprietary digital engine that enables and empowers Givaudan’s experts in their consideration of the future. Givaudan’s Customer Foresight is currently being piloted in two test markets prior to its launch in 2023.
After a rigorous, nearly year-long validation process, Cargill’s stevia sustainability program has been benchmarked at Silver Level by SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) 3.0, becoming the first stevia producer to have its entire grower network achieve this distinction. To achieve the Silver Level benchmark, Cargill’s comprehensive Stevia Sustainability Agricultural Standard was independently audited to assess practices across 11 sustainability topics, including labor conditions, water management, air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. The FSA Silver benchmark applies to Cargill’s lines of Truvia and ViaTech stevia leaf extracts.
Butter Buds released a new video highlighting the team’s application experts at work helping food manufacturers overcome formulation challenges. The team shares insight into new food innovations made possible as Butter Buds continues to push the boundaries of flavor technology with clean label, organic, and dairy alternative solutions for today’s marketplace.
Oman Investment Authority and MycoTechnology Inc. have established a groundbreaking joint venture that will use locally grown dates to produce high-quality mushroom-based protein. The two parties will collaborate on building a state-of-the-art production facility in Oman to scale up and commercialize this novel source of nutritious, sustainable protein. It represents the next generation of innovation driven by MycoTechnology’s proprietary fermentation platform, which harnesses mushroom mycelia to create transformative ingredients. The new joint venture will operate as Vital Foods Technologies. Oman is one of the world’s top 10 producers of dates, growing about 400,000 tonnes per year. However, more than half goes to waste or animal feed. The new joint venture is expected to upcycle a significant portion of these excess dates, using the natural sugar present in the fruit as a source of carbon to fuel the production of mushroom-based protein.
Botanicals supplier Nektium has successfully concluded the first phase of securing patents in several primary markets for its mango leaf extract Zynamite, which offers benefits for cognitive health and sports performance. Patents have been obtained for Zynamite as an ingredient for enhancing brain activity in all major international markets. These patents refer to Zynamite’s ability to improve alertness, concentration, and memory. In some countries it also includes additional effects, such as its use as an ingredient for enhancing mood, reducing stress, and as a replacement for caffeine.
Glanbia Nutritionals has acquired Sterling Technology, a U.S.-based manufacturer of dairy bioactive solutions derived from bovine colostrum, for $60 million plus deferred consideration.
BENEO announced the acquisition of Dutch company Meatless B.V., a supplier of textured plant-based ingredients with a unique portfolio of solutions derived from a variety of raw materials (i.e., rice, fava beans, wheat, pea, lupin, and quinoa). This range fully complements BENEO’s ingredients portfolio and allows for exciting new combinations. As a result, BENEO’s customers will benefit from a much broader variety and greater flexibility that supports the development of meat and fish alternatives.
3M Food Safety was named a 2022 Edison Awards gold winner in the Commercial Technology category for its 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader Advanced. The Edison Awards recognize, honor, and foster innovations and innovators whose solutions make a positive impact in the world. 3M Food Safety launched the 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader Advanced in 2021 as an enhancement of previous technology that allows food safety professionals to enumerate microorganisms quickly and accurately. The award-winning technology is a small peripheral device containing a five-megapixel camera, versatile bar code reader, and fixed artificial intelligence that expedites results interpretation.
Embion, a global leader in the development of upcycled food products from previously undervalued and under-utilized food and beverage processing streams, has strengthened its commercial division with the appointment of Frederic Narbel as vice president—commercial.
Florida Food Products (FFP) has invested in T-Bev Inc., a provider of high-quality, all natural ingredients focused on botanical extracts and tea-related products. This represents the second add-on acquisition in five months under the Ardian/Mid Ocean partnership, resulting in a meaningful expansion of FFP’s natural food ingredient capabilities.
Arla Foods Ingredients has secured a positive opinion on its Novel Food application for bovine milk osteopontin ingredient Lacprodan OPN-10. The European Food Safety Authority published an opinion that bovine milk osteopontin is safe for use in infant formula, follow-on formula, and ready-to-eat dairy-based meals for children. Products containing Lacprodan OPN-10 will be authorized for sale in Europe toward the end of 2022 or early in 2023.
Tate & Lyle completed the acquisition of Quantum Hi-Tech (Guangdong) Biological Co., a leading prebiotic dietary fiber business located in China.
Innophos released its latest white paper, presenting data from in vitro digestion studies that show the absorption advantages of Chelamax zinc bisglycinate. “Until now, there has been limited data that quantifies the benefits of chelation. Using an in vitro digestion model, we were able to mimic the gastrointestinal system to gain a complete view of solubility and absorption,” said Robert Finn, nutrition R&D director, Innophos, in a press release. “Results quantify the magnitude of improved solubility and absorption, showcasing the concentration of chelated zinc absorbed under intestinal conditions, which was tenfold higher than the concentration of zinc oxide.”
In this latest white paper, Innophos compared the solubility and absorption of Chelamax zinc bisglycinate to zinc oxide. The company found that Chelamax zinc bisglycinate tablets are 10 times more bioaccessible in the stomach and five times more bioaccessible in intestinal conditions than zinc oxide. Chelamax zinc bisglycinate has an absorption rate that is 10 times greater than zinc oxide.