Overcoming vegan cake formulation challenges: KaTech creates new bakery concepts

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05 Nov 2018 --- Food technology company KaTech has developed a new range of vegan bakery product concepts including cake and alternative dairy fillings. Vegan-baked goods require new ways of thinking for the food industry and the company’s accomplishment follows the introduction of its new bakery portfolio to the market.

The biggest challenge in making vegan cake is overcoming the loss of the functionality of egg, according to Paul Dean, bakery technologist at KaTech, based in the UK. 

“Egg provides a stable emulsion, structure, stability and texture. Finding ingredients suitable for the market is very challenging, which limits the options for development,” he says. 

“We have combined different starches and fiber to build the right structure and added a combination of emulsifiers. It has been a lot of work, but we are happy to have achieved excellent results for vegan cakes.”

The newly developed concepts complement the existing bakery product portfolio already sold to a number of customers in the UK and Germany.

Stephen O‘Neill Technical Sales Executive-Bakery, tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “At KaTech we have been very successful over the past years developing the markets in dairy and convenience food. We do see a very high potential in the bakery segment especially in the free-from category which is why we have recruited people that are experts in the area in order to enter that segment. Baked goods are very popular in the market, and gaining market space due to new varieties in the segment, but also market outlets where shoppers can buy baked goods on-the-go.” 

“We don’t sell off the shelf full compounds of food ingredients but work hand-in-hand with our customers when it comes to developing products. Every customer is very individual and has different requirements when it comes to diverse parameters around the product.”

KaTech has access to a very comprehensive raw material library, explains O’Neill, as well as a large knowledge base around it. 

“Combining the right ingredients in the right ratio is key, especially in the bakery segment. We are happy to provide our customers with the service around that. That’s what makes us unique and special we believe.”

KaTech has developed a range of bakery solutions including gluten-free, reduced sugar and low-fat options alongside other standard products in the market. This is to keep pace with consumer demand for vegan products as well as low-fat, healthier alternatives. 

At the start of 2018, KaTech decided to expand its bespoke customer solutions service into new areas. The business, bought by Katharina Hahn in 2012, currently specializes in all aspects of the technical development of dairy and convenience food product developments. Following the success enjoyed to date, the company is now introducing bakery product development to the mix. 

The recent appointment of highly experienced bakery technologists and salespeople is a first step towards offering the same high level of expertise in the research, development and production of bakery goods. This is just as the dairy and convenience industry has seen an emergence from the innovative Technology and Technical Development Centres in Luebeck in Germany and the UK. 

KaTech employs people focused on servicing food manufacturers according to their ever-growing individual needs. Their extensive knowledge and portfolio of global raw materials facilitate the provision of a uniquely agile service offering long-term, cost-optimized solutions. It is precisely this agility that allows clients to achieve a rapid turnaround, whether responding to consumer trends, troubleshooting or bringing a new product to market, it says. 

Vegan NPD booming
Big brands and foodservice giants are tapping into the increasing demand for vegan products. This comes as more consumers seek out meat and dairy-free alternatives on supermarket shelves and while eating out. This undeniable jump in vegan eating is pushing up new product development. 

According to data from Innova Market Insights, there has been a 45 percent average annual growth of food and beverage launches with a vegan positioning (CAGR, 2013-2017). These products increased their market penetration in Europe from 1.5 percent in 2013 to 7 percent in 2017.

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