Consumers are hungry for meat alternatives! 

New data released by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association shows explosive growth in the plant-based meat market, with dollar sales of meat alternatives growing 45 percent in 2020 and 72 percent over the past two years*.

With this category growth comes expanded expectations, as consumers are driving demand for products that deliver on taste, texture, and nutrition, with cleaner ingredient lists.  

Most meat alternative products contain methylcellulose, a chemically modified derivative of cellulose (a natural substance found in plant cells), which acts as a binder, providing adhesion to uncooked product, and when heated, gelation that lends to a meat like texture with realistic firmness and springiness while retaining moisture and increasing the perception of juiciness. 

Consumers have been educated to avoid products with ingredients they can’t pronounce or which they don’t use in their own cooking at home – methylcellulose falls into both these camps, which is why formulators are now looking for a solution that will provide the same functionality as methylcellulose, while offering a cleaner label.

At Merit, our experienced R&D team has successfully used Puratein® G, a cruciferin rich non-GMO canola protein as a platform for methylcellulose replacement in meat alternative applications. This highly functional plant protein has thermally induced binding and gelation properties that when combined with cold binding agents such as hydrocolloids, proteins, and clean label fibers, result in plant-based meat alternatives that don’t crumble when heated, providing the meat-like texture and appearance consumers crave, with the cleaner label they are demanding.

Contact us today to learn more about how Puratein G® can help replace the thermal gelation properties of methylcellulose in your meat alternative formulations, while simultaneously creating a cleaner label with an improved nutritional profile. 

*Source: SPINS Natural Enhanced Channel, SPINS Conventional Multi Outlet Channel (powered by IRI) | 104 Weeks Ending 12-27-2020.