The booming plant-based trend has seen a great number of meat and dairy alternatives enter the market, including vegan burgers, milk substitutes, and cheese analogues.
However this last category, according to Avebe, has so far largely missed the mark.
For the Dutch starch manufacturer, the problem is three-fold: Known imitation cheeses often use modified starch, making ‘clean label’ claims impossible; portray poor melting characteristics compared to their dairy counterparts; and generally have an ‘off-taste’ that may require masking by additional compounds.
To overcome these challenges, Avebe has developed its own 100% plant-based alternative to cheese, which it claims has improved taste, stretch, and melt-behaviour.
A patented process
Avebe’s patented method, as published by the World International Property Organization (WIPO), uses water, a root or tuber starch, a native potato protein, and a fat component.
The company favours the use of its propriety blend of potato proteins and potato starch, named Perfectasol D520, and a fat component derived from sunflower oil.
When melted, Avebe claims its cheese analogue has ‘good stretch’ – particularly in shredded form.
This makes the product suitable for ready-made pizza products, in either a vegetarian or vegan format, but could also be used in ready-made lasagne, croquet monsieurs, gratins, fondues, wraps, or cheese sauces.
Clean label starch for vegans
Global sales manager Bart Pennings said the firm will use the invention to sell its Perfectasol D520 starch as a food ingredient to cheese analogue producers.
“Food manufacturers that are buying, or will be buying, our food ingredients can make full use of this invention to make cheese analogues,” he told this publication.
This will allow Avebe’s clients to produce 100% plant-based alternatives to cheese with great taste, texture, stretch, and melt behaviour that also includes plant (potato) protein, Pennings said.
“Cheese analogues made with our potato proteins and starches provide better taste, texture and nutritional value than others on the market.”
Source: World International Property Organization
Patent title: Vegan Cheese Analogue
Published online 1 February 2019, publication number: 20190037872
Inventor: Jacob Bergsma