Hydrosol Introduces Vegan Nuggets for Mass Market

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30 May 2017 --- German food stabilizer supplier Hydrosol has developed a new stabilizing and texturing system that it says will allow manufacturers of meat alternatives to address the wishes of even broader target groups. The system achieves a meat-like texture with the aid of HydroTOP High Gel, which allows for the creation and consumption of products such as vegan nuggets. 

“The system is based on a specific combination of hydrocolloids and fibers that act as emulsifying and stabilizing components,” explains Dr. Carsten Carstens, head of Product Development for meat and sausage products at Hydrosol. “First, an emulsion is made with HydroTOP High Gel 30, oil and water. This stabilizes the hydratized texturate through thermoreversible gelling, meaning that heating the formable mass turns it into a product that is pleasantly firm to the bite.” 

Meat substitutes are becoming increasingly mainstream, with product launches in the third quarter of 2015 accounting for almost 14% of all new “meat” product launches tracked in West Europe by Innova Market Insights, compared to 6.3% tracked in the third quarter of 2011. Consumers are cutting back on meat, or ruling it out altogether for a number of reasons. These include personal health worries and concerns about animal welfare and practices being employed by the meat industry. The trend towards reducing meat intake in the diet has led to the emergence of new opportunities to target vegans, vegetarians and non-meat eaters.

Click to EnlargeAccording to the company, treating the texturate with the HydroTOP emulsion creates a formable, slightly sticky meat analog comparable to a ground meat mass used for meatballs and the likes. Thanks to this adhesive property, vegetables with smooth surfaces like corn or peas can be worked into the mass without problems. The meat substitute mass can be individually seasoned and produced continuously on a conventional line. HydroTOP High Gel 30 is suitable for all standard commercial wheat, soy and pea protein-based texturates. 

“In application, the synergies and interactions between HydroTOP and the protein texturate are used to full effect,” reports Dr. Carstens. “High Gel 30 turns the fibrous structure of the texturate into a meat-like structure.” 

The vegan nuggets can be prepared in various ways, and in addition to their texture, they are declaration-friendly. Besides being vegan, the products can also be advertised as free of soy and gluten. Furthermore, they use neither flavor enhancers nor phosphates, according to Dr. Carstens.

Besides vegan nuggets, manufacturers can use HydroTOP High Gel 30 with the texturates from the Hydrosol Stabiprot series to make many other products. Examples include vegan burgers and patties, as well as vegan schnitzel with breading. All products can be deep-frozen without problems. 

Product launches featuring the system are first expected in the Scandinavian market, Marie-Kristin von der Heide, Junior Marketing Manager at Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, tells FoodIngredientsFirst, adding that the company is currently working on a new generation of products containing textured plant proteins, which will be “closer to meat and fish than ever before.”

Hydrosol's new stabilizing and texturing system comes at a time when all types of consumers, not just vegans, are looking for innovative product options to reduce their meat intake. The growing popularity of new product development on a vegan platform is substantiated by new product launch data from Innova Market Insights, with a 58% increase in product launches recorded with a vegan claim in 2015 from 2014, with a further 35% increase in 2016 from 2015. New product innovation with vegan suitability is not likely to be slowing down in the foreseeable future, with plant-based milks and meat substitutes already rapidly moving into the mainstream. 

by Lucy Gunn

Hydrosol

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The Hydrosol team develops tailor-made stabilizing systems and emulsifying systems for dairy products, ice cream, deli foods, ready meals, meat and sausage products and also integrated compounds for deli specialties and desserts. With commitment and know-how they have made their company a centre of excellence in the field of stabilizers and emulsifiers. They are familiar with the properties of every single stabilizer and every single emulsifier. That enables them to create systems whose synergisms make customized solutions possible.

  • For dairy products: Hydrosol has developed functional systems for stabilizing a host of different products based on milk that offer economic benefits and meet the demands of the production line.
  • For ice cream: In close cooperation with their customers they develop stabilizing systems that ensure all the relevant product attributes.
  • For deli foods and ready meals: Cutting the production costs of ready meals gives manufacturers an important lead over their competitors. Their stabilizing systems ensure the reliability of production processes and give the products a pleasant eating consistency.
  • For meat and sausage products: Hydrosol has developed tailor-made stabilizing and emulsifying systems for use in the production of cooked and boiled sausage, boiled ham and restructured meat products.
  • Integrated compounds for deli foods and desserts: The use of integrated compounds ensures a high level of functionality and reduces costs by permitting savings in the procurement of raw materials and in storage and quality control.

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