Caramel Colors for Meats and Meat Replacers / Substitutes (continued)

Caramel Color in Plant-Based Proteins / Meat Replacers

As consumers continue to desire a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle, the addition of plant-based proteins to fortify a variety of meat applications expands as well to satisfy their need. Consumer demand for vegetarian or vegan products will increase as they try to limit their meat intake, so our industry has seen a rise in the use of Pulse Proteins like peas, beans, nuts, lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, etc. as meat substitutes.

Caramel Colors for Meats and Meat Replacers / SubstitutesWhen experimenting with new foods that contain plant-based proteins, consumers are looking for the health benefits without compromising on taste and mouth feel, and where SETHNESS ROQUETTE comes into play is assisting food companies pass the “eye test” – helping the plant-based products look more appetizing. The Meat Alternatives and Substitutes market is booming, and these finished products commonly incorporate Caramel Color to help achieve the typical appearance of meat – whether it’s beef, chicken, turkey, fish or other form of non-plant protein. There is a rapid rise currently with the integration of plant-based burgers into the menus of well-known fast food brands and restaurant chains.

In Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) applications, both liquid and powdered Caramel Colors are commonly used. Our Class IV DSL4 liquid Caramel Color is the product of choice because of its excellent adherence qualities to the protein surface. In addition, this Class IV Caramel Color provides desirable, economical coloring characteristics. As the market has grown for TVP applications, so have the Caramel Color usage levels. Occasionally this has created a concern for sulfite content in finished products. This trend has caused a shift in the market to our low sulfite Class III Liquid Caramel Color or low sulfite Powdered Caramel Color. Class III Caramel Colors are positively charged, which can cause the adherence characteristics to change.

Like in any application, prior testing is critical to determine how each of these SETHNESS ROQUETTE Caramel Colors will function in a specific formulation. In Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) applications, it is not uncommon to see elevated salt levels. Consequently, low sulfite Class III, positively-charged liquid Caramel Colors are recommended.

Please contact the SETHNESS ROQUETTE Technical Team for more information and guidance on how we can help with your meat, meat alternative, and plant-based protein applications.

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