GERMANY, Hamburg. Hydrosol is an established international expert for plant-based alternatives. With the formation of the Plant-based Competence Centre the company has now bundled all of its expertise in a creative pool. Here, product managers, nutritionists, food technologists and marketing specialists develop creative concepts to address the trends in international markets.
Plant-based alternatives to meat, sausage and dairy products have gone mainstream. Vegan products are getting more and more retail shelf space, and are the basis for new concepts in the out of home market. According to Innova Market Insights, in the last few years products marked “plant-based” and “100% plant-based” have experienced annual growth of 60%. Market researchers prognosticate continued growth going forward, among other things through new ideas in the trend category of snacking.
Hydrosol saw the potential of plant-based foods early on, and in 2014 the company marketed the first functional systems for making plant-based alternatives to cheese and sausage.
The choice of plant proteins is very important in meeting the expectations of consumers, as Dr Dorotea Pein, Director of Product Management at Hydrosol, explains: “A detailed knowledge of the available protein sources is essential. In addition to soy there is now also a multitude of other options, from familiar sources like peas, rice and coconut to newcomers like sunflowers and rapeseed. But not every protein is suited to every application.”
When characterising a new protein, Hydrosol first tests its sensory and rheological properties. Other criteria are the microbiological count, allergenic potential, compliance with hygienic standards and certified processes, as well as price and availability. If the protein meets all these criteria, it goes into testing.