Veganism is on the rise. Statistics published in 2017 revealed a 140% spike in the global demand for plant-based foods, with the sector being valued at around US$5billion. This growing trend has been reflected by a swathe of new food products—not to mention an increasing number of magazines and TV shows aimed at inspiring vegans with delicious recipes.

To align itself with this evolving market, JP’s Pastry, Benson, N.C., made the decision to reformulate its gluten-free pastry recipe to cater for vegans. To assist them with this challenge, the company sought the help of Brenntag North America’s Food & Nutrition (F&N) team.

What was the company’s requirement?

The esteemed reputation of JP Pastry’s products had been built on a trusted recipe. However, that recipe included egg, which, being an animal product, is off the menu for vegans. 

JP’s Pastry needed to find a plant-based alternative to egg that could perform a similar role without compromising on taste or texture. When its initial research failed to yield a satisfactory solution, it turned to Brenntag North America’s F&N team. With a finger firmly on the pulse of changing food trends, and vast experience of delivering effective food formulations, Brenntag had just the right credentials to meet the company’s needs.

How did Brenntag North America’s F&N team go about solving this problem?

With JP’s Pastry having already experimented, unsuccessfully, with various common hydrocolloids and emulsifiers, Brenntag’s application specialists put forward an alternative suggestion: alpha-Cyclodextrin. 

Produced from starch by enzymatic conversion, alpha-Cyclodextrin is a soluble dietary fiber that performs a number of important roles when used as a food ingredient. Not only is it an effective emulsifier and foaming agent—much like egg—but it also can mask unpleasant flavors and aromas, and even reduce cholesterol.

So, you developed some formulations for the company?

No, JP’s Pastry chose to carry out research and development (R&D) at its own laboratories, but Brenntag assisted them every step of the way. 

With Brenntag’s commercial team acting as a mutual point of contact, its product developers suggested a variety of experiments in which alpha-Cyclodextrin could be used instead of egg. Then JP’s Pastry R&D team reported back with its outcomes.

What was the final result?

When JP’s Pastry first got in touch with Brenntag, we agreed that we would try to work out a formulation through our consultancy. If that didn’t work out, Brenntag would develop it at its Food Application & Development Center. But as it turned out, our consultancy fixed the problem. JP’s Pastry carried out the experiments we had suggested, and informed us that one formulation in particular had performed exceptionally well. 

As a result, JP’s Pastry was able to start manufacturing its proposed gluten-free, vegan pastry. And the new product did not only satisfy the needs of vegan consumers – with the price of eggs fluctuating, the plant-based formulation was also more cost-effective for the manufacturer.

One Brenntag colleague who was particularly pleased with the outcome was Liz Green, a food industry specialist for the company’s Mid-South region. 

“I had been trying to build a relationship with this customer for several years, but the door always seemed to be locked,” she says. “This pastry commission has really created an opportunity for us. Thanks to the work of our application specialists and commercial team, the customer is now in love with alpha-Cyclodextrin as an alternative to egg, and has already begun experimenting with it in other applications. It is a really encouraging result.”

About Brenntag Food & Nutrition

Brenntag Food & Nutrition, part of the Brenntag Group, is a leading provider of food ingredients to the market places around the globe. We built a reputation of partnering with the best suppliers of ingredients and additives and deliver right to our customers’ needs and requirements. 

With more than 750 dedicated employees, a presence in 73 countries and 28 application and development centers, Brenntag Food & Nutrition provides technical expertise, tailor-made formulation and application solutions, a broad portfolio of specialty and commodity ingredients and profound industry know-how in the segments meat, poultry & fish processing, bakery & bread, dairy & ice cream, beverages, chocolate & confectionary, convenience food and fruit & vegetable processing. 

Brenntag Food & Nutrition makes its business partners “sense the difference.” For more information, please visit