Savory protein cakes: Laboratoire PYC unveils meaty and cheesy offerings for weight management
26 Mar 2021 --- Laboratoire PYC has launched gluten-free, high-protein cakes in savory flavors. The low-sugar offerings primarily target the weight management sector but also address sports nutrition and senior nutrition demands.
Anne Fundt, R&D project manager, tells NutritionInsight that the savory cakes are a response to demands in Europe, although Laboratoire PYC also targets North America and Asia.
“A few years ago, we launched protein crisps with different savory flavors, which were a great success. The idea was to bring a new salty format,” adds Laura Augrandjean, R&D project manager assistant at Laboratoire PYC.
She continues that for consumers focused on weight management, there are currently many sweet solutions to satisfy snack cravings. “With the savory cakes, we wanted to provide a savory offer that is also requested.”
Embracing savory flavors
These cakes, available in a 40 g rectangular format, come in chicken, bacon, olive, goat cheese-rosemary and pepper-chorizo flavors.
Fundt explains that these first five flavors are just a “glimpse” of the range the company can offer.
“Each flavor was dosed by the team to suit with the cake formulation and its process. The teams taste all the flavors we formulate to gather as many opinions as possible. We also monitor market trends,” she details.
According to Innova Market Insights, cheese was one of the most popular savory flavors for global bakery launches between 2016 and 2020. Beyond dairy flavors, other in-demand savory flavor categories include vegetables and herbs. However, this space remains relatively untapped, leaving ample room for innovation.
Laboratoire PYC is also part of the Solina Group, a specialist in aromatic savory mixes. “Belonging to the group allows us to master different savory flavors like cheese, vegetables and herbs,” Augrandjean adds.
Each 40 g cake contains 14 g of protein and no more than 5 g of carbohydrates. The cakes are also suitable for phase one of a protein diet. “This is a strict phase where carbohydrate and sugar intakes are highly controlled. During this phase, the person loses weight,” explains Augrandjean.
Meanwhile, phases two and three are the transition and stabilization phases, during which certain foods are gradually reintroduced to stabilize the body weight. For these diets, health professionals monitor and advise patients. The use of different dieting stages ensures that weight is not regained at the end of the diet.
High-protein diets have become a nutritional mainstay in recent years. Innova Market Insights reports that F&B launches with a protein positioning have seen 13 percent average annual growth between 2016 and 2020.
The top categories for high-protein launches are Sports Nutrition and Dairy, but Baby & Toddlers and Meat, Fish & Eggs are the fastest-growing, with CAGRs of 21 and 20 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Bakery has a CAGR of 10 percent.
Within the weight management sector, the keto lifestyle – which encourages low carbohydrates and high fat and protein – has seen a host of NPD since 2015.
Overcoming formulation challenges
As all the cakes are gluten-free, Laboratoire PYC faced challenges in the structural differences. In traditional bakery doughs, gluten plays a key role in forming a flexible and workable network.
Added to this is the high protein content, which hardens the dough, making it less elastic, more compact and therefore less easy to work.
Furthermore, sugar in traditional baked goods brings softness in texture and roundness in taste – meaning the company had to adapt to this absence in its cakes.
The team remains tight-lipped about which raw materials were used to overcome these issues, but Fundt emphasizes the resulting products fulfill nutritional demands while remaining pleasant tasting.
Looking ahead, the team is now working on new sweet flavors. They will tap into fruity trends but also embrace the flavors of gourmet desserts. The aim is to expand the sweet range but also to work on different nutritional profiles.
Earlier this month, FoodIngredientsFirst reported that familiar, comforting flavors and adventurous global tastes are inspiring consumers in an increasingly interconnected world.
By Katherine Durrell
This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst’s sister website, NutritionInsight.
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