Firmenich introduces plant-based Smart Protein solutions

Range includes ingredients and delivery technologies designed to address plant-based challenges of bitterness and perceived dryness

Building on the growing vegan and vegetarian movement, Firmenich has introduced a comprehensive portfolio of “Smart Protein” solutions, including ingredients and delivery technologies designed to create great-tasting plant-based food and beverages.

Combining taste priorities, with its science and in-depth consumer understanding, Firmenich’s has enabled customers to create enjoyable eating experiences across savoury, sweet and beverages.

Emmanuel Butstraen, President of Firmenich Flavors, said: "Plant-based protein continues to go mainstream, as many consumers recognise that less meat in their diet is good for them and for the planet."

Bustraen added: “As alternative proteins often disappoint in terms of taste and mouthfeel, our “Smart Protein” solutions are designed to enrich the total eating experience, addressing all product development needs, from great taste and aroma to nutrition and functionality.”

The bitterness hurdle

Building on years of research and collaboration with experts, Firmenich’s new portfolio addresses the key challenges associated with plant-based proteins, from off notes and bitterness to perceived dryness and overall desirability.

In Savory, Firmenich’s expertise in taste modulation and delivery technologies offers the taste qualities typical of meat proteins, which are generally missing in their plant-based equivalents.

Extending this innovation to sweet goods and beverages, Firmenich combines a wealth of proprietary technologies, to address the challenges of texture control, flavour release and minimising ingredient interactions during processing. The company’s experts have tailored solutions to address bitterness, grittiness and lack of creaminess in plant-based protein yoghurts, beverages and fortified bars.

This launch of the ‘Smart Protein’ capabilities follows a string of recent acquisitions but the Swiss company. This included Campus, an innovator in natural functional ingredients.

“Campus brings an exciting dimension to our Smart Proteins expertise,” commented Mark Bailey, VP of Global Business Development. “By combining our capabilities, we are setting ourselves up to offer the most comprehensive range of flavour and functional ingredient solutions for protein applications, cutting across animal and plant-based products.”

In 2017, Firmenich opened its dedicated Culinary Center of Excellence for Smart Proteins in Vienna as well as hosted its very first conference on alternative and sustainable proteins in Geneva.

Building on this success, in October 2019, the Group will hold its second conference on alternative proteins at Campus’s headquarters in Parma, Italy. To be attended by key culinary thought leaders and experts in the field, the event will focus on the challenges of creating new and enjoyable Flexitarian eating experiences.

The Flexitarian diet, as cited by the Lancet report on Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Systems, has been defined as the universal healthy diet and as a key factor in being able to sustainably feed the world’s population as it reaches 10 billion by 2050.

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