Natural Products Insider

JUL-AUG 2019

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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naturalproductsinsider.com 17 The success of the plant-based industry, however, will be based on how well manufacturers can provide consumers with the great tastes and textures they enjoy from animal-sourced products. Category Snapshot: Plant Milks According to Mintel's 2017 "US Non-Dairy Milk Market" report, nondairy milk sales grew an impressive 61% between 2012 and 2017 to reach $2.11 billion. While almond (64%), soy (13%) and coconut (12%) remain staples in the category, new nondairy milk types are sparking excitement as consumers look to diversify their nondairy milk repertoire. New varieties have experienced fast growth in popularity as 63% of those who have purchased pecan milk said they bought more pecan milk in 2017 than in 2016, while 58% of quinoa milk consumers said they bought more quinoa milk in 2017 than the year prior. New Hope's NEXT Trend Database, which tracks products and claims at the Natural Products Expo trade shows, identifi es emerging trends in the plant milk space. Based on a total product size of 150 products in plant milks shared across 14 ingredient-based subcategories, NEXT data revealed oat milk's share of growth increased an impressive 371% between 2016 and 2018, followed by fl avored fl ax milk (136%), cashew milk (83%) and other plant-based milks (69%). NEXT found substantial negative share growth for fl avored hemp milk, fl avored cashew milk, fl avored coconut milk and plain coconut milk (-80, -34, -26 and 17%, respectively). Almond milk, a pioneer in the plant-based milk category, witnessed declines of share growth for fl avored almond milk and plain almond milk (-14.6 and -10.95%, respectively). Formulation Challenges As newer and more uncommon plant proteins are used in formulating dairy alternatives, the need grows for ingredients that address challenges such as mouthfeel and lingering off-fl avors. Therefore, formulating a plant-based product requires product developers to rethink and re-create the entire organoleptically pleasing and culinary functioning structure, noted Jim Jones, Ph.D., vice president of customer innovation, AAK. "Every plant-based ingredient interacts and behaves differently than its animal-based counterpart, and the combinations of vegetable proteins and structures can result in very different end results," he said. "What started out as replacing the milk protein with soy has expanded into several new ingredients such as almonds, peas, garbanzo beans, cashews, legumes, rice, oats, tapioca starch and fava bean powder," Jones said, noting soy has decreased while the other ingredients are taking a larger share of the market. He also pointed to increased interest and usage of niche ingredients such as quinoa, macadamia and hemp. While the choice of protein is important, other ingredients such as the choice of vegetable fats, oils and emulsifi ers are needed to create great- tasting products. "While coconut, rapeseed, canola, sunfl ower, soy, palm and shea are the dominant fats and oils used in plant- based dairy globally, sal, avocado, mango and CBD are recent trending oils that may have potential," Jones said. Consider plant-based fats and oils as an example. "You might think it's enough to fi nd a solution that mimics the profi le of a milk fat, however it is not that simple," Jones said. "The food matrix in a plant-based product is completely different from a dairy product. This is why the plant-based cheese industry is struggling with the textural issues of pasty, grainy, drying mouthfeel, slicability, shredability, stretch and melt." AAK recently launched AkoPlanet, a specialty vegetable fats and oils platform to address these industrywide issues, and is co-developing solutions for plant-based cheese and frozen dessert companies with its customers. Ingredient replacement in dairy alternatives can be especially challenging because they lack milk fat, which provides much of the texture and mouthfeel associated with dairy-based products. To make up for that loss in mouthfeel, formulators must rely on texturizers to build back the creamy, rich texture consumers expect. Ingredients like chicory root fi ber and native starches can help. "These label- friendly ingredients also provide functionalities such as stability, mouthfeel enhancement and syneresis control, while standing up to the harsh processing parameters that often exist in nondairy applications," Addington said. Cargill offers several formulation solutions for building back creamy, rich texture. Its Oliggo-Fiber chicory root fi ber comes in a variety of forms, including differing degrees of solubility, polymerization, relative sweetness and fi ber content, molecular weight and branching structures. Some are particularly good at mimicking fat, creating a creamy or milky mouthfeel. The addition of chicory root fi ber to dairy alternative frozen desserts also helps with freezing point depression. The company recently launched its SimPure line of starches that leverage unique functional benefi ts from a variety of botanical sources. In plant-based applications, they work well in vegan pudding and yogurt applications, along with dairy alternative beverages. "Recognizing the role that natural, dairy-free dairy fl avors can play in overcoming taste and texture drawbacks in dairy alternatives is essential for both improving taste and shortening the commercialization of product launches," Butler said. "Flavors can be added at the beginning of the development process to bring a dairy alternative base to neutral, to mask grassy or beany notes, and to counter astringency or chalkiness. Natural, dairy-free dairy fl avors also can be used to add the fatty mouthfeel that is often missing in plant- based products." Edlong recently conducted two different sensory evaluations of a beverage containing both rice and pea protein. The company trialed two different versions, each containing different natural, dairy-free dairy fl avors. "Using a combination of milk and sweet dairy fl avors, we were able to make a signifi cant impact by decreasing the cardboard notes and the residual bitterness in the fi nished application," Butler said. "These fi ndings demonstrate how developers can expand product range with the addition of natural, dairy-free dairy fl avors." A Formula for Success As Ivey noted, plant-based ingredients often lack dairy-based characteristics that are distinctly associate d with fats, such as richness, mouthfeel and masking. Fortunately, today's range of ingredients provides product developers the necessary tools to create the satisfying taste and indulgent richness consumers expect from traditional dairy applications in dairy-free formats. Food & Beverage: Dairy Alternatives

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