Mane finds secret to sensory features including “juiciness” craved in plant-based burgers
27 Oct 2021 --- Flavor house Mane has conducted a 12-month study to establish the link between ingredients used in plant-based burgers and sensory features that simulate beef-based burgers. Juiciness by far outranked other factors in the race to advance product formulas.
Sensory features such as juiciness, firmness and elasticity were evaluated by a panel of 12 experts trained to assess meat substitutes.
Key findings of the study identify how to add extra juiciness to plant-based burgers. Another key finding shows that the impact of fibres is determined by the type of fibres used.
Mane has used plant proteins in its formulations across sweet and savory markets since the 1980s. With this survey, the company aims to get ahead of trends in the meat alternative segment.
The flavor study is in line with one of Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends 2021 “Plant-Forward”, which shows accelerated demand for new plant-based formats and more sophisticated alternatives for upcoming launches.
Design of Experiment
The flavor experiment set out to identify which factors influenced juiciness, elasticity and fatty texture in a positive way. It focused on understanding how to minimize firmness, fragility, stickiness and off-notes including “beany, cereal, fattiness” and bitterness of the end-product.
A variety of factors were altered in the “design of experiment” (DoE) to determine how sensory features such as taste and texture are impacted by ingredients like fibers, starches and textured proteins.
More than 20 contributors mainly flavorists, food scientists, sensory experts and chemists participated.
The results were based on factors influencing the sensory features of the end-product positively or negatively. Some factors did not have any influence at all.
In another study, conducted earlier this year on plant-based meat alternatives, pea, rice and soy-based meat (PBMA) alternatives were linked to positive changes in the gut microbiome. An independent UK study that examined 39 participants revealed small but statistically significant changes in the presence of butyrate-producing pathways.
The scientists confirm that the PBMA products provided to participants in the intervention group elicited changes in their gut microbiota that are consistent with eubiosis, i.e., “a healthy gut microbiome.”
Findings and correlations
The company expects new results on extrusion and its consequences on flavor stability, in dry and wet environments and the role of fat in mouthfeel and juiciness perceptions.
Mane’s ongoing studies are set to yield results about the choice of coloring agents to ensure visually appealing products and the development of process flavors, flavoring preparations and culinary bases specially adapted to plant-based applications.
Correlations were also established between fatty sensation and reduced perception of bitterness. The company’s product developers are gearing to adjust their formulas by adding juiciness to the end-product.
In September, Symrise bundled and reinforced its taste solutions for plant protein products. With this, the company seeks to address changing attitudes toward meat and traditional dairy products.
Sales of plant-based alternatives are increasing especially in Asia, the US and Europe, with more investment in companies, specifically start-ups that offer protein alternatives.
Edited by Inga de Jong
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