On a roll: Planteneers’ plant-based ingredients bring alt-tuna, vegan sushi and salmon to market
30 Mar 2021 --- Planteneers, a member of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, has developed a range of textured vegetable proteins and plant-based binders called fiildTex and fiildFish to help manufacturers catch the wave of catch-free seafood with vegan sushi, salmon and tuna alternatives.
The company has also unveiled a plant-based salmon filet, as part of its growing portfolio of fish alternatives.
“FiildTex proteins are used in combination with fiildFish to create plant-based fish alternatives,” Florian Bark, product manager at Planteneers for meat and fish alternatives, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
FiildTex has been developed for alternatives to tuna pieces. With it, customers can use standard meat and fish production machinery to make alternative tuna that looks and tastes like canned tuna fish.
Another innovation is fiildFish for alternatives to sushi-style raw fish and smoked products like smoked salmon. These plant-based products tout having a typical fish structure and texture.
The recipe is also notably flexible – different fish alternatives can be created by adjusting the specific flavor and color.
The end products can be readily sliced and are also freeze-thaw stable, making them suitable for convenience products.
The beginning of an era
Planteneers’ R&D team kicked off their exploration into fish analogs with “the all-time favorite fish fingers and other breaded fish products,” reveals Bark.
“Those frozen products have the highest demand in the market and due to the high convenience level, they are easy to prepare.”
Planteneers offers a diverse range of protein texturates that give products a fish-like, tender bite to achieve this.
Bark continues: “The right choice of texturate is indispensable to get as close as possible to the animal product. Plant protein concentrates are also important to match the protein content of the final product to that of the original.”
The plant-based tuna chunks and the fish fingers have the same amount of protein as their counterparts, Bark affirms.
In addition, the company boasts a large portfolio of algae-based hydrocolloids for making alternatives to fish and seafood.
Rising tide in plant-based seafood
Planteneers calls the move toward fish alternatives “the future,” citing particular interest from the eco-conscious Gen Z driving the category.
According to Innova Market Insights, Gen Z is the largest population segment worldwide at 32 percent. Accordingly, it will have a major influence on consumer behavior in the coming decades.
Plant-based alternatives to fish and seafood thus not only offer new indulgence experiences for flexitarians, they also meet the demands of the rising generation.
Environmental organizations already advise cutting back on the consumption of ocean fish and seafood due to overfishing.
Microbiology is another factor. Due to the thermal processes in their manufacture, plant-based alternatives to smoked fish and sushi are microbiologically safer than traditional fish products.
Emergence of catch-free
Players across industry are teaming up to develop the ideal color, flavor, texture and nutritional profile for seafood alternatives.
In January, European plant-protein player Schouten Europe introduced TuNo, a fully vegetable-based tuna product with replicated textures and flavor.
Nestlé also launched its own plant-based tuna alternative known as Vuna last August.
Meanwhile, Givaudan tipped plant-based fish as “the next big thing” in alternative proteins last September.
By Missy Green
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