Loryma develops vegan fish alternative: ‘Functional wheat can authentically replicate the muscle meat of fish’

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

Vegan salmon alternative  / Pic: Loryma
Vegan salmon alternative / Pic: Loryma

Related tags: plant-based, vegan, Fish, Seafood

German wheat specialist Loryma has developed a new concept for vegan fish alternatives that leverages functional wheat ingredients to replicate the muscle meat of fish. The company says this speaks directly to the challenge of producing whole plant-based fillets.

Loryma has developed a process to combine various functional wheat ingredients, such as starches and proteins, that interact to ‘authentically replicate the muscle meat of fish’ and ‘provide typical mouth feel’.

According to managing director Henrik Hetzer, the company’s efforts in the field speak directly to the challenge of producing whole fillets – as opposed to flaked products.

“Lory plant-based fish fillet solutions centre around a two-step process in combination with different fish flavours and an optional breading finish. In the first step, fish flesh imitating pieces are created with wheat based texturates (Lory Tex) and stabiliser (Lory Stab) and in the second step the product matrix is bound by Lory Bind and Lory Protein,"​ he told FoodNavigator.

The company is able to tweak the formulation and process to produce a range of fish alternatives, including tuna, cod and salmon. "The consistency of the individual flesh imitating pieces within the product matrix is altered through the addition and selection of the appropriate type of Lory Stab or Lory Tex. The size of the flesh imitating pieces in the product matrix is either adjusted by the grinding process (i.e. fish filets) or the selection of the specific Lory Tex product type (i.e. fibrous texturates for Tuna),"​ Hetzer explained.

All components are flavour-neutral, so the desired fish taste can be individualised with the addition of specific flavours.

Loryma is also able to tweak the nutritional profile of the finished product, Hetzer continued. “The protein content of the finished product can be altered through the addition of Lory Protein without affecting the product properties. To achieve a nutritional profile containing Omega 3 acids, the wheat ingredients can be combined with high quality oils."

The company hopes the innovation will help it tap into growing demand for plant-based fish alternatives, which is slated to witness impressive growth. According to Future Market Insights (FMI), the global plant-based fish market is expected to grow by 28% CAGR during the forecast period from 2020 to 2030.

Growth is being supported by growing awareness of issues such as overfished seas, pollutants and microplastics, according to Loryma’s assessment.

Hetzer stressed that vegan alternatives directly address these concerns. “We rely on high-quality regional wheat-based raw materials for our fish alternatives. As a result, we can offer vegan, sustainable and pollutant-free alternatives to conventional fish. Our raw materials guarantee a high-quality end product and the best possible nutritional values, and are adaptable for manufacturers in many ways."

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