Walk into any large supermarket today and you'll find more and more shelf space devoted to meat-replacement food products. As consumers reduce their meat consumption and switch to a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diet, food manufacturers are falling over themselves to produce plant-based alternatives that look, cook and taste like real meat. To support food producers, Bunge Loders Croklaan has developed a range of ingredients for plant-based burgers and research shows that lecithin is a key component that makes all the difference to the eating experience.
University College Cork (UCC) is a leading center for food and nutrition research and a long-term partner of Bunge Loders Croklaan. In both our own Creative Solution Center and UCC's laboratory, we put lecithin to the test in plant-based burgers. We pan fried different types of meatless burger, with lecithin and without, and invited a panel of 25 people to taste the results and assess the burgers in terms of a number of sensory attributes.
These results were all replicated repeatedly at both UCC's and Bunge Loders Croklaan's facilities.
The results showed that certain types of lecithin in plant-based burgers significantly improved both the juiciness and the flavor of the patties. The technical support staff, who actually fried the burgers for the tasting panel, also report that the sizzling during baking and the browning of the burgers with lecithin was closer to real meat compared to the burgers without lecithin.
Even a small amount of the right type of lecithin in a recipe can help improve the overall eating experience of plant-based burgers. By adopting it in the production process at the right time and dosage, food manufacturers can upgrade their products.
Depending on the recipe, 90% of the ingredients for plant-based burgers are available from Bunge Loders Croklaan, including proteins, fats and lecithins to bring it all together. We also have the recipe and processing knowledge to combine these components to make or improve your plant-based burgers to the next level.
We are continuously expanding our knowledge of lecithin and how it improves the eating experience of plant-based products. If you want expert advice on the quality of your burgers or other meat replacing products, please contact us and reimagine the future of food together with our experts.