Planteneers is offering plant-based alternatives to cream cheese, pizza cheese, and hard cheese in slices and blocks, as part of its fiilDairy range. Alternatives to cheese fillings, for example for plant-based schnitzel and the like, are also included.
It also offers alternatives to granular cream cheese (cottage cheese), based on either almond or oat protein, meaning they’re soy-free. Planteneers also addresses the ‘free-from’ trend in its plant-based alternative to quark. The system has no E-numbers and can also be used to produce a plant-based version of sour cream. The products are made using almond drinks or almond paste, which are also free from soy.
Dr Dorotea Pein, Director Product Management at Planteneers, said: “In terms of technology, plant-based products have reached the point where they are very similar to their animal equivalents. They have the flavour and texture people want, brown well, and with their melting behaviour make any pizza a delicious treat. However, their nutritional value has room for improvement, since unlike with meat alternatives, plant protein cannot be readily used in cheese technology.”
The company is researching solutions to the issue in its Plant Based Competence Center. With its sister company Hydrosol, Planteneers is also a cooperation partner with the NewFoodSystems innovation space supported by the German Ministry of Education. Other members include the Fraunhofer Institute, the Max Rubner Institute and various universities and research institutions.
“As a partner of this expertise network, we are in constant communication with leading scientists in the field of plant protein,” said Dr. Pein. “We’re also increasing our own research and development work. To this end we’re adding a cheese area to our Plant Based Competence Center, where we can research new technologies. Simultaneously we’re adding to our expert team. Our goal is to make plant proteins more usable for cheese alternatives, ultimately in order to improve their nutritional value.”
With plant-based alternatives to cream and hard cheese, manufacturers can add new trend products to their offerings. If, in addition to positive technical attríbutes, these also feature nutritional profiles with the essential amino acids needed by the body, they can also meet consumers’ desire for healthy nutrition.