CP Kelco, an Atlanta, Georgia, USA-based food ingredients supplier, has announced a new range of offerings to support product development in the meat alternatives sector. The portfolio includes nature-based, cleaner label-friendly options for formulating plant-based burgers and sausages that serve up a meat-like eating experience.
With the rise of flexitarianism, faux meat alternative products have been developed to be as close as possible to real meat in taste and texture, but they had a long and complex ingredient list. Now that the category has boomed in popularity, healthy-eating consumers are increasingly interested in products with a simpler, more recognizable ingredient list.
CP Kelco is delivering just that with its Inew meat alternative (MA) line of multifunctional solutions for formulating plant-based burger and sausage alternatives. Here’s a brief rundown of the products:
• KELCOGEL MA-60 Gellan Gum acts as an alternative to methylcellulose, adding hot bite and texture to accentuate a meat-like eating experience. In addition, it is very easy to work with and process-friendly, producing a less-sticky dough for forming burger patties. Gellan gum, made by fermentation, is already considered a go-to functional ingredient for solving plant-based protein challenges and is widely used in plant-based, dairy alternative beverages.
•For extra juiciness, GENU Pectin MA-50 can be used in combination with KELCOGEL MA-60 Gellan Gum or another gelling agent. The pectin is upcycled from spent citrus peels, a byproduct of the juice industry, and is an easily recognizable, consumer-friendly ingredient used in a variety of foods and beverages.
• GENU Texturizer MA-1 is a multifunctional solution which provides juicy texture as well as both hot and cold bite, enabling a more robust formulation and a meat-like eating experience. It is a blend of carrageenan, extracted from red seaweed, and methylcellulose which could present an opportunity for those looking to extend their product line into plant-based sausages.
• NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber boost is a clean label-friendly fiber ingredient that enables starch replacement in plant-based meat alternatives. Made from sustainably sourced citrus peel, it stabilizes emulsions and provides water-holding capacity which increases cooking yield and juiciness.
“The launch of these plant-based meat alternatives is an exciting advancement in our rapidly evolving program focused on alternative protein product development and innovation,” said Robert Dunn, the company’s senior marketing director and head of its alternative proteins program department.
He added: ”The remarkable part is that innovation came from within our existing portfolio of gellan gum, pectin, carrageenan and citrus fiber. We drew upon the strength of these proven, nature-based ingredients and our talented team of scientists to answer the growing market need for cleaner label alternatives to methylcellulose and starch, the top two ingredients used in plant-based meat alternatives.”
In addition to innovations that will help alternative protein product developers today, CP Kelco is also collaborating on next-generation solutions outside its current portfolio that are aimed at accelerating the shift to a more sustainable food system.
Promising Partnership with Shiru
Meanwhile, on March 21 CP Kelco announced a new partnership with food ingredient startup Shiru, Inc. to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system through the discovery and development of next-generation, plant-based proteins using precision fermentation technology.
Shiru’s discovery platform Flourish uses computational biology to interrogate its proprietary database of hundreds of millions of proteins to find the best functional ingredients for every food formulation challenge. Using precision fermentation and high-throughput screening, Shiru produces these ingredients and validates their performance in food. The objective is to enable food companies to make delicious, nutritious, and sustainable foods with a small fraction of the environmental footprint of conventional, animal-derived foods.
Together, the companies aim to accelerate product development for several proteins identified by the Flourish platform. CP Kelco will perform scale-up of these proteins with its fermentation capabilities and further validate the performance of the Shiru proteins in food prototypes by the end of this year.
The first promising candidates for the Shiru-CP Kelco partnership include novel replacements for methylcellulose, a chemical compound used as a gelling agent and emulsifier in food products such as plant-based meat alternatives.