A look at current sales figures and growth projections quickly reveals the importance of plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products.
“The plant-based revolution” is not just one of this year’s top trends according to Innova Market Insights, it’s also a rapidly expanding category in food retail. Worldwide, the market for plant-based products is showing double-digit growth. However, consumer expectations are rising commensurately. In addition to flavor, texture and indulgence, a short ingredients list is also increasingly important, as is the absence of soy and other allergenic ingredients. Accordingly, Hydrosol has long been using other plant protein sources instead of soy.
Meat alternatives with peas, potatoes or fava beans
“Due to the GMO issue and its allergenic potential the demand for soy in Europe is declining sharply,” says Florian Bark, Product Manager at Hydrosol. “In its place, protein sources like peas, potatoes and fava beans are coming to the fore, along with newer sources like chickpeas, sunflower and algae. For example, we use these proteins in our plant-based meat and sausage alternatives.”
Allergen- and soy-free stabilizing and texturing systems based on potato and pea protein can be used to make a wide range of products, from cold cuts to salami to bacon.
For plant-based convenience foods, Hydrosol offers its HydroTOP VEGAN Patty PP range, based on fava bean and pea protein, and free of soy, wheat and other allergens. Together with the plant-based texturate, it enables users to make vegan burger patties that are very similar to meat products in taste, texture and mouthfeel.
The plant-based nuggets made with HydroTOP VEGAN Patty PP and a rice texturate likewise feature a meat-like structure with appealing bite. They have the familiar white color of chicken nuggets. With the HydroTOP VEGAN Patty range, Hydrosol provides a modular system that can be used to serve the convenience market with a wide variety of plant-based foods.
Plant-based alternatives to dairy products—mostly soy-free
For a long time now Hydrosol has been using mostly soy-free stabilizing and texturing systems for the broad spectrum of plant alternatives to dairy products.
Successful examples include desserts based on almond and coconut drinks. A functional system of modified starch, hydrocolloids and plant fiber lets manufacturers make a tasty pudding, and can also be used to make fermented desserts.
In the milk drink category, sunflower and oat alternatives are possible. A new item in the portfolio is a plant alternative to sour cream that cannot be told from the original—and is just as versatile. This plant-based sour cream is free of e-numbers, as well as being entirely soy-free.
At FI Europe in Paris Hydrosol staged the product in a memorably way. Together with sister company Deutsche Back it developed a soy- and gluten-free vegan tarte flambée, with gluten-free crust, plant-based sour cream and vegan bacon.
“The tarte flambée was a great success, and many visitors were immediately won over by the taste of our sour cream,” reports Product Manager Katharina Schäfer.
Hydrosol GmbH & Co. KG headquartered in Ahrensburg near Hamburg, Germany, is a fast-growing international supplier of food stabilisers, with subsidiaries around the world. Its specialists develop and produce tailor-made stabiliser systems for dairy products, ice cream and desserts, delicatessen foods and ready meals, as well as meat, sausage and fish products. The company also supplies solutions for beverages, and for vegetarian and vegan alternatives to meat and dairy products. With its international network of 16 affiliates and numerous qualified foreign representatives, the company is represented in the world's key markets.
As a member of the independent, owner-operated Stern-Wywiol Gruppe with a total of twelve subsidiaries, Hydrosol can make use of many synergies. The company has access to the knowledge of some 100 R&D specialists and to the extensive applications technology of the large Stern-Technology Center in Ahrensburg, Germany. It also benefits from shared production facilities and the Group's own logistics resources, so it can offer customers a high degree of flexibility and innovation capabilities. The Stern-Wywiol Gruppe is one of the world's most successful international suppliers of food & feed ingredients.
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