Vega Safepro cultures use fermentation to keep plant-based meat fresh

Published: 21-Apr-2022

Using fermentation, the range helps to control the growth of unwanted lactic acid bacteria strains, pathogens, yeast and moulds

Following the launch of its culture kit for dairy alternatives in 2021, Chr. Hansen has developed the Vega Safepro range, an offering designed to keep plant-based alternative proteins safe and fresh for longer. The range consists of three cultures that can be applied alone or in combination to undergo fermentation, which helps stem the growth of yeast, mould and contaminants such as listeria.

“We are delighted to offer a solution that will help meet global demand for foods supporting the increasingly popular flexitarian lifestyle,” said Zdenek Cech, Business Development Manager, Plant Based Meat Alternatives at Chr. Hansen. “Flexitarians place a large emphasis on the consumption of plant-based foods, while incorporating meat and other animal products in moderation. A full 42% of global consumers reported avoiding certain animal-based products in 2021, and Vega Safepro cultures will make it even easier for them to find options that satisfy their cravings without asking them to compromise on their values.”

Producers hoping to succeed in the plant-based alternatives space must tailor their recipes according to customer desires, Chr. Hansen says, balancing the need for shelf-life stability with the demand for simple ingredients whose names consumers recognise.

“Plant-based meat alternatives tend to have high levels of sodium, due to the addition of buffered vinegars or different salts used for food preservation, such as sodium acetate or sodium lactate,” Cech continues. “With our new cultures, producers may be able to reduce the sodium content in their products, relying on the power of fermentation to support shelf stability so foods remain safe and fresh, naturally.”

Using fermentation, the range helps to control the growth of unwanted lactic acid bacteria strains, pathogens, yeast and moulds, as well as potentially reducing overall sodium content in products while maintaining natural ingredient lists.

Consequently, the company says, the product can enhance the sustainability profile of food brands by reducing food waste.

“We hope that with Vega Safepro, our customers come to see us as a close partner as they innovate new offerings for plant-based meat alternatives,” said Cech, “meeting the challenge of creating delicious products that are safe from the start and stay safe for a longer time.”

The range is suitable for applications in plant-based chicken strips, or in cooked, ready-to-eat products.

“As we look ahead, we believe the plant-based trend is here to stay and will only continue to grow,” Cech said. “With Vega Safepro and the wider Vega portfolio, we are honoured to support our customers in creating the best possible plant-based alternatives for meat and dairy, helping them offer the tastiest, healthiest options to consumers around the world.”

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