Chr. Hansen VEGA cultures enable dairy-free cream cheese concept

Published: 16-May-2022

Development of the cream cheese utilised expertise and ingredients from Ingredion, AAK, and Givaudan

Chr. Hansen has developed a range of VEGA Boost cultures, the latest addition to its VEGA Culture Kit. The company’s extended range of cultures for plant-based dairy alternatives have been used to create a dairy-free fava bean cream cheese in a formulation which can be allergen-free.

“We have succeeded in producing a great-tasting, plant-based cream cheese alternative that delivers a nutritional profile similar to dairy cream cheese in a simple formulation with only five ingredients,” said Christian Gilleladen, Principal Application Scientist at Chr. Hansen. "We look forward to working with our customers to inspire innovation in this space, using our VEGA Boost cultures and application expertise to bring delicious plant-based cream cheese alternatives to life."

Development of the cream cheese utilised expertise and ingredients from Ingredion, AAK, and Givaudan, who have been working with the company on plant-based dairy-alternatives at MISTA, a California-based future-food innovation ecosystem. According to the companies, fava bean proved to have the right sensory, affordability and physical properties to create a product with the functional and nutritional properties needed in a spreadable vegan cream cheese.

“When we have presented this cream cheese to consumers, they have been wowed by the great flavour and short ingredients list,” continues Gilleladen. “Producers see the relatively low cost and simple recipe and production process as an added benefit.” This unique fermented fava bean cream cheese alternative can easily be tweaked by using flavours or spices that meet regional preferences for taste, texture and appearance.

Key to the creation of this product was the development of VEGA Boost, adjunct cultures designed to offer increased flexibility in fast fermentation and an enhanced flavour experience.

“Chr. Hansen scientists used their extensive knowledge of plant-based fermentation to develop these VEGA Boost adjuncts,” says Dr Ross Crittenden, Senior Director for Commercial Development. “The new, innovative bacterial strains in VEGA Boost offer customers a unique opportunity to tailor the fermentation process to specific product needs. Key benefits of using VEGA Boost include improved fermentation performance and more complex flavours – delivering flavour differentiation in plant-based dairy alternatives.”

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