Ingredient Technology Grows to Match Demand for Plant-Based Foods, Flexitarian Diets
Flex Time: More consumers are concerned about health, the environment and/or animal welfare practices.
For so much discussion about plant-based foods, one might think all consumers have turned to vegan or vegetarian diets. Yet that’s not what’s happening.
What is happening is that more consumers are concerned about health, the environment and/or animal welfare practices. And for one or more of these reasons, eaters are consciously embracing a more “flexitarian” diet—a plan where they’re opting to skip meat at one or more daily meals.
More recently, this thinking also could include a decision to simply reduce animal protein and turn to a new host of products that intentionally blend both animal and plant proteins. These types of products make it easier to for people to transition into meat-reduced diets and enjoy their favorite foods’ taste and texture without sacrifice. Burgers, meatballs, nuggets, sausages, meatloaf are ideal applications for blended products.
Interestingly enough, blended products also can help food manufacturers make more cost-effective products. By blending in less expensive plant-based ingredients, these manufacturers can avoid some price fluctuations in the animal protein market.
Advanced Food Systems (AFS) has developed texture and flavor ingredient systems that are ideal for either complete plant-based foods or blends of animal and plant proteins. When designing the ingredient systems, AFS’ team of food scientists and research chefs considered the whole process—from manufacturing to consumption. We treat the plant-based protein—whether soy, pea or wheat—the same way as meat.
AFS’ texture and flavor ingredient systems are intended both to produce a desirable finished texture and flavor and ensure that industrial product can be manufactured in the most streamlined fashion. We also ensure that your end customer, the consumer, can cook or reconstitute these products using the same techniques as similar meat versions.
Most importantly, AFS knows that these new finished meat alternatives must taste good. Our ingredient systems (described below) are versatile and can be used with soy, pea, wheat, chickpea and other types of proteins.
FlavorTex® Systems: These are texture and flavor marinade systems specifically designed for textured plant based proteins. Once hydrated, these marinades can be combined with the desired textured plant protein and then static soaked or vacuum tumbled. Upon cooking, FlavorTex Systems produce a textured plant protein with a more natural meat-like texture. Flavor can be custom tailored for the application or a particular flavor profile. Textured plant proteins—marinated with FlavorTex Systems—work great in both vegetarian and flexitarian products.
Actobind® Products. These are texture, binding and stabilizer systems that provide both cold and hot viscosity. Cold viscosity improves mixing, depositing and forming of plant based protein mixtures. Upon cooking, hot viscosity develops and improves texture by keeping the product moist and juicy whether the product is grilled, baked or fried. Actobind products also improve freeze-thaw stability and help prevent freezer burn.
Chef-Ready® and SeasonRite® Seasonings. These are easy-to-use seasoning and flavor blends that can be added to plant based protein products. They can be incorporated into products by mixing, tumbling or topically. Depending on the desired flavor profile, there are versions that provide mild savory base flavors to bold authentic ethnic flavors.
Sealtite® and Seal ‘N Crisp® Systems. These are pre-dust and batter systems that both help seal moisture in the product during cooking and produce a crispy exterior. These systems are perfect for batter and breaded meat alternative products.
All Advanced Food Systems ingredients can be custom developed to meet customer ingredient restrictions, processing requirements and flavor profiles. Please contact Advanced Food Systems for assistance in selecting the ingredients that best fits your plant-based or blended product needs.
Advanced Food Systems Inc.
21 Roosevelt Avenue, Somerset, NJ 0887