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CP Kelco and Chr. Hansen join forces to develop breakthrough, ambient, plant-based 'vegurts'

December 5, 2022

Ingredient companies CP Kelco and Chr. Hansen have announced a collaboration that the pair claims takes consumer-friendly, shelf-stable, plant-based yogurt alternatives ('vegurts') to the next level.

Consumer demand for healthy and more sustainable food choices has driven an explosion in launches of plant-based alternatives to traditional dairy products. Within these categories, manufacturers and retailers have recognized the advantages of shelf-stable products, which can reduce food waste and increase geographical reach. For consumers, ambient-stable products offer convenience. However, to embrace regular consumption consumers are not ready to compromise on taste, nutrition, and the 'naturalness' of shelf-stable, plant-based products.

CP Kelco and Chr. Hansen have worked together closely to demonstrate that production of nutritious and great-tasting, ambient, plant-based yogurt alternatives are possible for a variety of different plant bases. The result of this collaboration includes industrially validated prototypes of drinkable and spoonable vegurts with either oat, soy, pea, coconut or almond bases.

"The technological challenge to produce both 'spoonable' and drinkable ambient vegurts with great nutrition, taste and texture is significant," commented Christian Gilleladen, Principal Application Scientist at Chr. Hansen. "Selecting the right culture to provide fermentation performance, texture and flavor for each recipe, and having these complement the stabilization and flavor systems is critical to making great products."

Gilleladen continued, "By working together, we have been able to unlock the synergies between ingredients and process to produce a variety of desired thicknesses and mouth-feel."

"This collaboration represents a new way of helping our respective customers accelerate their product development and access technical application support globally," added Anne Sinha, Marketing Director at CP Kelco, on behalf of the two companies. "With access to teams who know each other and work together well, and who are closely connected to other global ingredient producers, customers can benefit from an integrated team of world-leading experts with insights across their entire development chain."

To date, a range of vegurt prototypes are available to food producers for tasting, and they have received positive feedback from select customers. The prototype recipes can be tweaked to meet specific requirements for sugar, protein, fat, texture and flavor, thanks to the comprehensive expertise in fermentation, stabilization, flavor, processing and packaging offered by the collaboration.

"Formulating plant-based vegurts is not straightforward, and we want to help our customers to be best in class by offering our joint technical expertise," concluded Tora Jorn, Sales Technical Service Manager at CP Kelco. "Together, we look forward to this opportunity of sharing our support and helping with the development of the flavors, textures and nutritional profiles our customers are targeting when they embark on the plant-based, shelf-stable vegurts journey."

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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